Kindness Quotes

This post is spectacularly late!  I’m sorry for the long gap between posts – I’ve been really struggling with sickness and pain management recently and it has left me with no spoons for writing.  I’ve been struggling with trying to get the balance of my latest medication (Prostap) right, and have had my tentative diagnosis of adenomyosis confirmed by MRI.  I have a lot of half-finished drafts sitting there, but I’m going to kick things off with my collation of daily quotes that I used during March.

Kindness is a big theme in my life – not because I always manage it, but because I always want to be kinder than I am.  There are so many things to be kind to in this world – yourself, other people, animals, the planet, people you love and people you hate.  To me it is vitally important.  My biggest failing in trying to achieve kindness is my tendency to gossip.  Sure, I’m not criticising someone to their face so arguably it can’t hurt them, but I think being kind in that kind of consequence-free environment is a far greater mark of character than refraining from being unkind to people face-to-face, where the fear of repercussions is greater.  Also, do unto others, etc.  I’m working on it, but I still find myself doing it a lot.

I also really suck at being kind to myself sometimes – don’t we all – and that’s an area I’m doing my darndest to work on.  As part of that, I’ve recently joined a gym (Fernwood finally seduced me with their persistence and a good deal on price) and am having some PT sessions to get my body back on track without hurting myself (or at least, without hurting my endo.  My muscles hate me right now).

I want to preface this by saying that I don’t agree without reservation with all of the quotes here, but generally speaking I think they all have a good message, and that some are incredibly important to remember.

Now, without further rambling:

  1. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  – Aesop
  2. “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”  – Audrey Hepburn
  3. “Kindness in words creates confidence.  Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.  Kindness in giving creates love.”  – Lao Tzu
  4. “Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like.  More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”  – Dennis Prager
  5. “A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds.  A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”  – Saint Basil
  6. “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  7. “I’ve been searching for a way to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.”  – Lady Gaga
  8. “Love and kindness are never wasted.  They always make a difference.  They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.”  – Barbara De Angelis
  9. “You can tell by the kindness of a dog how a human should behave.”  – Captain Beefheart
  10. “Contact kindness can accomplish much.  As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”  – Albert Schweitzer
  11. “Just imagine how different the world could be if we all spoke to everyone with respect and kindness.”  – Holly Branson
  12. “I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”  – Khalil Gibran.
  13. “Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.”  – Samuel Johnson
  14. “Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.”  – Theodore Isaac Rubin
  15. “Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.”  – George Sand
  16. “I make mistakes daily, letting generalisations creep into my thoughts and negatively effect my behaviour.  These mistakes have taught me that the first step to successfully choosing kindness is being more mindful about it, letting go of impatience and intolerance along the way.”  – Daniel Lubetzky
  17. “The true greatness of a person, in my view, is evident in the way he or she treats those with whom courtesy and kindness are not required.”  – Joseph B Wirthlin
  18. “Human kindness have never weakened the stamina or softened the fibre of a free people.  A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”  – Franklin D Roosevelt
  19. “Transparency, honesty, kindness, good stewardship, even humour, work in business at all times.”  – Humphry Davy
  20. “The man who practices unselfishness, who is genuinely interested in the welfare of others, who feels it is a privilege to have the power to do a fellow creature a kindness – even though polished manners and a gracious presence may be absent – will be an elevating influence wherever he goes.”  – Orison Swett Marden
  21. “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.”  – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  22. “Treat everyone with respect and kindness.  Period.  No exceptions.”  – Kiana Tom
  23. “Every minute of every hour of every day you are making the world, just as you are making yourself, and you may as well do it with generosity and kindness and style.”  – Rebecca Solnit
  24. “The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”  – William Wordsworth
  25. “You will never have a completely bad day if you show kindness at least once.”  – Greg Henry Quin
  26. “Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.”  – Harold S Kushner
  27. “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”  – Bob Kerney
  28. “Strong people don’t put others down…they lift them up.”  – Michael P Watson
  29. “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”  – James Keller
  30. “Do not let kindness and truth leave you.  Tie them around your neck as a reminder; write them deep within your heart.”  – Proverbs 3:3
  31. “Consistent acts of kindness trump random acts of kindness.”  – Anonymous

How have you tried to be kind to yourself or others this month?  What about going forward?  Let me know in the comments.

 

Staying Generous

Yesterday I wrote about how to stay grateful in a situation where there is so much against us.  Today I want to talk about how we can stay generous when we are already lacking in money, struggling physically, and devoting most of our emotional energy to caring for ourselves.

Most forms of generosity involve giving your money, your time, or your emotional labour.  Donating to charity, helping friends move house or listening to people discuss their problems are all common forms of generosity.  Being generous is something that feels good, makes people like you and is just a nice thing to be.  However, it can also be seriously draining.  So, what are some things that people with endo can do?  Here’s a few ideas…

  1. Engage in online advocacy, including sharing and signing petitions.  It generally only takes a few clicks so it isn’t a huge amount of energy required, but it helps promote good causes.
  2. If you have the spare cash, invest in a charity that helps you help a lot of people for a small amount, like Kiva.  You can lend a certain amount of money to a cause of your choice.  The person you loan it to then pays it back over time, so you can reinvest it in a new cause.  It’s not a commitment to a monthly scheme and it means you only have to give the money you have, which you will get back.
  3. Participate in fundraisers that don’t require too much from you.  Many fundraisers involve sponsored walks, runs or cycles.  Others, like Frocktober (to raise money for ovarian cancer research) or Dressember (to raise funds to combat human trafficking) simply require you to wear a dress each day.  I managed Frocktober last year and raised around $700, which I couldn’t have done if I was required to, say, walk for an hour a day.  I won’t be able to do it this year as I’ll be in the UK and I want to wear pants to travel, so I might give Dressember a go instead.
  4. Practice being generous with the people closest to you.  Maybe you can’t afford to take your partner for a romantic date, but can you offer a back massage or a foot rub?  If your best friend is struggling at work, listen to them and talk to them.  Be their shoulder to cry on.  It’s easier to expend emotional energy when you care about the person you are doing it for.  If you still have something left, give more or expand the circle of people you support.
  5. Support your endo-fellows.  One thing that warms my heart in the local facebook endo support group is to see people generously offering to drop in care packages, emergency supplies or even just company to others in hospital.  If you are up to a drive, consider that.
  6. Educate.  If there is a cause you are passionate and knowledgeable about and you want to share it with people, go for it.
  7. Volunteer at things where you can sit down.  Perhaps it is manning a stall at an event or festival, or doing a bit of face-painting at a school fete (although a word of warning as a former professional facepainter: it is KILLER on the back and shoulder muscles).  Is there a phone service you could help with?  If it is something physical within your ability to take it on, why not?
  8. Compliment people!  I’m not saying to be insincere, but doesn’t a nice compliment just make your day a little brighter?  If you like someone’s outfit, tell them.  If you think their work today was just fantastic, tell them.  It doesn’t take much from you but it might make a big difference to them.
  9. Forgive people.  A lot of people will say insensitive stuff about endometriosis or about you.  Generosity includes forgiving people for that, even when it hurts and is frustrating.  That doesn’t mean you have to keep hanging around that person, excuse their wrong or forget what was said, but it does mean you stop dwelling on it and being angry at them for it.  It’s good for you, too.

There are, of course, some things you should remember with this.  Rules, if you will.

  1. Whilst true generosity may include giving up things you want, it should not include giving up things you need.  Ensure that you have enough money set aside for medical expenses, food and rent before you give it away.  If you’re anything like me, you don’t know if you’ll be able to work sufficiently in the future to make up any deficit.
  2. Don’t overdo it.  It’s not much good helping someone for one day and going all out only to leave yourself bedridden for the next fortnight.  Know when to say no, and when to call it quits and go home.
  3. It is fine to advocate and be generous for a cause that helps you too.  If raising funds and awareness for endo is your passion, it is no less generous to give your time and money to that cause simply because you may benefit (although let’s be honest, anything we achieve in the endo sphere is really more likely to benefit the next generation than ours).
  4. Be generous to yourself!  If you are forgiving and complimenting other people and giving them time and energy, do a little bit of the same for yourself.

Overall, I think generosity is a little easier than gratefulness, but it still promotes a certain positivity of mind.  Sharing and caring feels good.  Feeling good helps you cope with pain and negativity better.  It’s a nice thing to do and a nice way to feel.

What are ways that you stay generous while suffering?  What is hardest for you?  Let me know in the comments.