Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kindness Begins With Me

Okay, so I'm not really sure if the Kindness Project is up and running this month or not. It's entirely possible that I missed it. I'm going to post today anyway, because it's always a good time for kindness.

And kindness begins with me. As a mother, a teacher, a friend. Sometimes it's easy to delve into gossip. Oh, how easy. But gossip is one of the most damaging things to engage in, and it's so unkind. It's sort of like this:


Source
I'm guilty of gossiping from time to time, but as soon as I realize how sticky/gunky my hands are, I try to get out of whatever conversation I've gotten into.

Because no matter what, I'm responsible for what I say, whether in person or in an email or wherever. And kindness begins with me, and usually with what I say. It's a good reminder for me right now, and a perfect way to practice kindness.


How do you practice kindness?

Be sure to follow--and join!--The Kindness Project around the web today, using the Linky list below.

31 comments:

KatOwens: Insect Collector said...

Love this Elana-- great visual-- I will never get that out of my head.
So, so true. I can't count the times I've regretted gossipping. It's good to remember we CAN stop it.

Alison Miller said...

That picture is a PERFECT visual for gossip - one I want to show to my students and colleagues. One I need to show to myself from time to time. I'm guilty of getting sucked into an occasional gossip train and I usually end up feeling ashamed and hating myself for it(probably why I choose to hide in my hole (room) for most of the day at work)But I don't have to get sucked into it. Thank you for the reminder.

Great post!

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm so with you on this, Elana. I'm responsible for being mature and not spewing out nonsense. It isn't always easy, but it is doable. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Good reminder on the gossip Elana, which I'm definitely guilty of doing too. And even when I'm mad (Like today), it's important to remember to watch what you say (did not do with hubby today. Sigh).

Angela Brown said...

I know I've delved into a gossip moment or ten. And given the pictorial you've shown, I'd have to say it is a good representation of it.

Like you, when I recognize the talk is sooo gossip, I try to remove myself...then look for some Goo-B-Gone :-)

Julie Daines said...

It seems like in our world of electronic communication rather than face to face, people feel a disconnect and tend to say whatever they want, disregarding the feelings of others. I miss the days of good manners.

LTM said...

Oh, I love that picture. That's the best image I've seen of what gossip feels like. Great post, Elana! And it's always a good time for TKP! :o) <3

Emily R. King said...

Love that picture. It stays firm in my mind.

Carolyn V said...

I agree, gossip is the worst. What a great reminder, and cool project!

Donna K. Weaver said...

This is great, Elana. When I had some experience with an adolescent treatment program, the kids there could never mention anyone else until the person was present because otherwise it was talking behind that person's back. While extreme, it made a point for the kids.

Martha Ramirez said...

What an awesome reminder! Thank you so much!

Barbara Watson said...

Yes, it begins with each of us--usually by what we say. I know I'm parroting, but man, we all need to remember it.

Pam Torres said...

Often, it seems to me, gossip is disguised as concern and empathy when it's more about discussing someone that doesn't happen to be there. I believe there is a fine line between notifying someone you think would be able to help or extend love and simple gossip. More often than not, it is the latter and only serves to hurt or separate the friend/victim from the larger group.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Kindness is essential. Every little bit means a lot.

Shallee said...

Thanks for the reminder that being kind includes being kind even when that person isn't right in front of you!

Angie said...

Yes. I hate when I realize I've been gossiping! Great post, from one of the kindest people I know!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Gossip is so easy to engage in and not even realize you're doing it. Especially if you're a natural storyteller. There's something about the way spreading gossip really captures a person's attention and makes you feel liked and appreciated, (even if it's an artificial fleeting bit of attention) that makes it so very alluring. But like you said, it can be so, so damaging. The nastier the gossip, the more people listen up and the faster it spreads. We may not be able to stop gossip from spreading, but we can stop it from spreading with us (to us and from us) by opting not to participate in it. This is a great reminder, Elana. <3

Jemi Fraser said...

Love this! I had a whole conversation with my class about the evils of gossip today - hope they got it! :)

whimsicalwerecat said...

Wonderful little message and reminder, Elana. Gossip can be like a virus, and doesn't do anyone any good. We all have control over what we say (or don't say). The power of life and death in words starts and ends with one person: ourself.

Julie Musil said...

Elana, I definitely need to remind myself of this OFTEN. Thank you.

Kenda Turner said...

"...and kindness begins with me..." Such a great reminder, Elana. Thanks :-)

Len Lambert said...

I must keep this in mind, Elana. Thank you for sharing this.

erica m. chapman said...

Love that pic. SO true. It does begin with us. Gossip is usually a chain reaction sort of deal, so if you start it or continue it, that matters. We've all been there, I think. it's what you do after that that really matters most! If you learn from it, you can do better next time.

Great reminder and fantastic post!!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Great post and visual! I'm with you 100pct. It's so easy, mean, and low to get embroiled in gossip, at work and at home. Much better to get the garden under my nails than the gunk of gossip on my hands.

Thank you!!!

Karen Lange said...

This is a wonderful idea. I think kindness can be contagious, you know?

Have a great weekend!

Kathryn Purdie said...

So glad you joined the Kindness Project. I've seen this floating around the web lately. It's nice to remember kindness in a field where we are continually put in positions to criticize others. That's a necessary part, but we can be gracious and constructive about it, and keep our lips sealed when we shouldn't criticize--which is more often than we think!

Taffy said...

Thank you, Elana! It's hard not to get got up in talking with friends and associates and gossiping about another person. Just today I was telling some PTA parents that I haven't helped with a certain project for the last few years because of the catty women. It's always good to be reminded of being kind.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I tend to shy away from people who pass along negative things about others. Sharing someone's good news is fine, but when a person seems to enjoy bad things happening to people it is a real turn off for me.

Janet Johnson said...

I may have seen that picture once or twice. ;) But it is a great visual. I really try to stay out of gossip, but it can sneak in pretty fast. Thanks for the great reminder!

Madeleine Sara said...

This is a wonderful awareness fest, Elana. I think kindness is so important. Even down to little things like letting someone out in traffic. Putting the supermarket trolleys back where they should go, picking up something knocked off a shelf in the store, telling the staff when a bottle of bleach has been spilled on the floor and become a hazard to other shoppers, I believe it all helps to make others lives less difficult.

The Desert Rocks said...

My blogging friend Donna Weaver at Weaving a tale or two connected me to your blog. As an inspirational writer who loves spreading the good news I thought I should sign up.