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Kindness. Compassion. Empathy. It’s what being part of the solution looks like. We can think it must be big and bold, grand gestures and extravagance, but it’s most frequently gentle and soft. It rests in gentle whispers and smiles. It’s in the details.

It’s bringing a casserole, or a bag of cookies from our favorite bakery, when we can think of nothing else to do. It’s a quick “I believe in you. I love you. This too shall pass” text. It’s letting those you love know they do not walk alone, no matter what their brain is telling them. It’s sending a funny meme to one of our tribe in the middle of the day because we know it will bring a smile to their face, if only for a moment, because the moment is all that matters. It’s folding a load of laundry that contains not one item of personal clothing. It’s running our spouse’s car through the carwash when you borrow it (and then remembering to close the sunroof) because we know how much they love a clean car. It’s blasting amazing music when the darkness descends & saying “come dance with me, just for a minute”It’s simply showing up in the million little ways at our disposal.

Kindness is also very much this; resisting the urge to share our egos, all our fabulous ideas about how you, they & this should go. It’s staying silent when we know we’re in anxiety and pain. We don’t need to show up for every hard moment. That’s why there are so many of us, so we can take turns. When we need to step back self-compassion is critical. It’s also imperative to keep our mouths closed when all we have to share is more of the problem. It’s “let me get back to you on that” It’s saying no when we need to say no. It’s validation without strings attached. We were never intended to have all, if any, of the answers. We were just ended to be kind.

Kindness is never intended to fix or manage. It’s purpose is pure. It’s purpose is to lessen, by just a fraction, the burden of the moment. And it’s always our choice to make. So when the clouds darken, when the wind begins to pick up, lay down the cape and grab a casserole. Show up with a smile and a really long hug. Shed a tear with them. Ask them what they need from you. Because ultimately the message of kindness is this; I know you are hurting and I cannot take that from you, but I will crawl down into the ditch with you until this passes, because no matter what happens, or how long this lasts, I got your six”

Walk softly out there...and lay down the big stick.

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