Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
but manifestations of strength and resolution
” ― Khalil Gibran

I had the pleasure of sharing some exciting life changes and news with a few people these past few weeks. During one of these visits, a friend shared her own story of success; her daughter’s success more accurately, but she seemed unsettled. Curious about her condition, I probed a little further. It turns out that another woman, of her age, had tried to belittle her daughter’s accomplishments. This woman was trying to down play someone twenty years her junior!! …

… the less secure a man is, the more likely
he is to have extreme prejudice.
” ― Clint Eastwood

Some people just seem to have a really have a hard time seeing other people succeed. As if it’s a personal attack, or threat to their success. I feel like “these people” are just incredibly insecure and self involved and those who adopt that way of life have no place in mine. If seeing success offends you, you’re not going to like what’s ahead…

It’s one thing to be so self immersed that you’re unable to share or even see in the joy of someone else’s success or accomplishments, but to try and downplay it, that’s just downright pitiful. how low must you be to feel the need bring someone down in order to feel better about yourself or above someone else?

The hallmark of insecurity is bravado.” ― Brandon Sanderson

We all have struggles, adversities and choices. When someone else overcomes obstacles in their life, it doesn’t mean those obstacles end up in ours. Likewise, when someone shines, it doesn’t dim our own light. In fact, their light can brighten our path.

As I’ve had a chance to catch up with friends, I realized.. I’ve got a lot of successful friends! One of them just bought herself a new home. At 23, she’s a homeowner. Another friend was a successful candidate for a position with the RCMP, she also just bought a house with her partner. Another friend is exercising some new boundaries with family members that is already reaping positive results, another is getting married.. it goes on, really. Seeing and being able to share these experiences didn’t take away from mine at all. I sat and listened and smiled and said how great it was to be surrounded with such POSITIVITY and SUPPORT. There are no sidekicks. We are all heroes in our own right and together, we form a league of extraordinaries.

It’s not always about you. It’s not always about me. It’s about humanity.

Unity, positivity, productivity, progression. We are merely different bodies made up of the same stuff. When we get cut ,we bleed, and we all bleed the same red blood. Spitting on my spirit is like sh!tting on your own. We are brothers, sisters, mothered by the Earth, the air, the ether.

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples;
no need for complicated philosophy.
Our own brain,
our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness
.” – Dalai Lama

It seems as though we don’t realize this until we’re older. Much older. Perhaps it takes the oh-so-hot bodies we took pride in begin to disintegrate and lose elasticity, the sharp mind we boasted about slows down; when our ego is humbled by age and the aging process. Perhaps that’s when we realize that grudges are too heavy of a burden to carry on chipped shoulders into our final years. My grandma understood this, give and forgive was her creed. I thought she was foolish, letting people get away with so much. How could she? People took advantage of her kindness, took her for granted, but she didn’t care — her priorities were different. How could she? Detachment, that’s how. She gave freely, no expectations. Her wisdom was in knowing that although we lived in a material world, it was the immaterial stuff that mattered. She understood what we in our competitive youth and raging adulthood don’t seem to understand; there’s no harm in sharing your light. Our lives are intertwined, but they are indepedent. There’s no loss in sharing someone else’s joy. Those who have grandparents or are lucky enough to spend some time with the elderly will understand this. Their urge to freely give their advice, their knowledge, their compassion and joy for the successes of the children, grandchildren– strangers, even. It’s unparalleled.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around
.” – Leo F. Buscaglia

Last Monday I was finishing off my workout with a few rounds of sprints. I had an elderly woman approach me as I stood panting, trying to steady my body long enough to bring my water bottle to my lips. She rested her hand on my sweaty back and I pulled out my earphones. She smiled sweety and spoke softly, “you’re a good runner, you should try out for the olympics.” I laughed and then smiled shyly. sweet but silly woman. I sprint at a fraction of anything olympic, but her words lifted my spirit nonetheless. What did that cost her? A few seconds of her time? What was the need for her to do that? What did she get from doing that? Though I was tired and had finished my last set, I couldn’t wipe the dorkish smile off my face, I shook my head, replaying her words, and ran one more lap, fueled exclusively on the positive energy gifted to me by a stranger.

She owed me no kindness, but she gave it anyway. No strings attached.

Restore someone’s faith in humanity; do something selfless, today.
Lift someone’s spirits and watch, your own spirit will soar!