Sometimes kindness isn’t easy to give. Sometimes kindness is telling the loud obnoxious person that they are being exactly that, loud and obnoxious. But, you have done the kindness for those around you by educating the loud person. You will then find out if they care about others or not. Chances are now at this time in history they are going to say they don’t care and continue to be loud and obnoxious.
After writing this little paragraph I thought of a young guy being loud, and saying to him “Tell your mother the next time you see her that I, a complete stranger, am sorry.” Then the kid is supposed to look up at me with a shocked expression and I will have time to say: “As a mother to a young child she would have tried to instil kindness for others in you. I am sorry for what your current attitude would have meant for her throughout your growing up”. They would then, of course, stop being obnoxious.
An instant later I also thought about, these problems/issues that could/would happen:
- that it is a young man is an assumption (although statistically, I’m sure this is accurate)
- that they were raised by a mother
- that they care about their mother
- that they would let me say all of this without being angry and yelling over me, a woman
- that I, a woman in today’s culture, would confront a male in public
- that he couldn’t get up and beat me in front of a group of people and no one would see anything
- that he wouldn’t follow me later and assault me for speaking up
- that he wouldn’t call friends to assist with the assault
- that the people around me appreciate that I had the ‘kindness’ to tell the young man that he was being obnoxious.
Even in the story in my head, thought of because of an ancient quote from Marcus Aurelius, I am still showing female terror. I still know that there could be consequences to showing kindness by calmly pointing out someone’s obnoxious behaviour. I’m not sure what that says about me or our society, except that kindness, isn’t gender neutral and can’t be until women aren’t afraid of a simple story explaining a kindness in their own head.