Henry James had it right all those years ago, “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
We all have days that just don’t feel right, days where we want to crawl back in bed, wishing we could either begin the day again or that the day would just go away. It is in these times that we need one simple thing, kindness. Kindness to ourselves and to each other and we need to acknowledge that these days exist for everyone.
Kindness comes in all shapes and forms. It can be a small glance of understanding that lets someone know they aren’t alone or simply letting them know that your door is always open if they ever need to chat. Perhaps one of my favorite examples of kindness is an exchange between the great Winnie the Pooh and his friend Piglet.
“Piglet?” said Pooh.
“Yes Pooh?” said Piglet.
“Do you ever have days when everything feels… Not Very Okay At All? And sometimes you don’t even know why you feel Not Very Okay At All, you just know that you do.”
Piglet nodded his head sagely. “Oh yes,” said Piglet. “I definitely have those days.”
“Really?” said Pooh in surprise. “I would never have thought that. You always seem so happy and like you have got everything in life all sorted out.”
“Ah,” said Piglet. “Well here’s the thing. There are two things that you need to know, Pooh. The first thing is that even those pigs, and bears, and people, who seem to have got everything in life all sorted out… they probably haven’t. Actually, everyone has days when they feel Not Very Okay At All. Some people are just better at hiding it than others.
“And the second thing you need to know… is that it’s okay to feel Not Very Okay At All. It can be quite normal, in fact. And all you need to do, on those days when you feel Not Very Okay At All, is come and find me, and tell me. Don’t ever feel like you have to hide the fact you’re feeling Not Very Okay At All. Always come and tell me. Because I will always be there.”
My wish for each of us is to keep kindness at the tops of our minds and to try to bring a new level of kindness to today. Taking that extra minute to make someone’s day just a bit brighter doesn’t take much and a little can go a long way.
So go ahead and put kindness into action. Take the time to stop and look more deeply into someone’s eyes and see how they are doing, because they may not be as ok as they appear. Simply offering a friendly smile to someone you know – or even someone you don’t – could make a world of difference in helping them feel that they are not alone and in making their day a little less, Not Very Ok At All.