It's More Important To Be Kind Than To Be Right

It's More Important To Be Kind Than To Be Right

Sure, no one likes being wrong, and we all secretly do want to believe we're above others in some ways, but I'm here to claim that being listened to and being shown kindness are far more fulfilling to our needs than being right about something.

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"To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

I keep this quote as the background on my phone because it is significant to a mindset and lifestyle change I have taken the past year. I've written before about why I stopped talking about politics, and that for a variety of reasons. I didn't, and still don't like myself when I'm talking about politics, because "I'm right. I'm always right, and those heathens who think any differently are stupid, wrong, and need to be conditioned to think the same way I do." Being right about things, my whole life, was very important to me, and why not? Why wouldn't it matter to people?

But whether it was through people I met or because I just grew up, I started realizing there was something more important. That's where the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote comes into play - being kind and listening to people are often more important than constantly seeking to be right and prove others wrong.

A conversation about who's right and who's wrong is one of either two things: an echo chamber or an argument. When we think about it, very rarely do either get us to change our minds and think back to the last argument you had with someone you disagreed with - did you think differently by the end of it or did your own beliefs only get stronger?

Sure, no one likes being wrong, and we all secretly do want to believe we're above others in some ways, but I'm here to claim that being listened to and being shown kindness is far more fulfilling to our needs than being right about something. Being right is often a band-aid solution to a problem that is unfixable - I once wrote another article about why a loving God would allow pervasive suffering and evil to infiltrate our world, and one answer, according to Father Kevin O'Neil, is so we are shown mercy. It is so that we can "enter the chaos of others," and that others can enter ours, too, so we are shown "unconditionally loving presences that soothe broken hearts, bind up wounds, and renew us in life."

When Jesus was asked which commandment was the most important, he replied this in Mark 12:30-31: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." I ask you to look inward and ask yourself, how an assertion of vanity over your neighbor is a way of loving them.

I've had a lot on my mind recently, and it wasn't important to me at all when I had a lot to get off my chest what someone else's opinion was, whether they agreed with me or didn't agree with me. If I wanted to war about whether I was righteous at the end of the day, I would have been driven to insanity: what would it have changed, fixed, or even done, if I was the most righteous person in the world? I didn't care about any of that, because, as Dr. Wayne Dyer famously wrote, "when given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind." What helped was when I could get emotions off my chest, when people would listen.

Giving up the need to be right about everything was one of the best lessons I've ever learned - and it's not a lesson I learned because I was superficially holy or altruistic. It was because I found things more important than that: fulfilling people and fulfilling relationships - people who listened to me and treated me with unconditional kindness and mercy. It's because I have this love now, from God and from people, that I can do good now, and disappear a moment later and avoid getting credit or recognition for it. As Matthew 6:1 goes: "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, and for you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven."

Again, I still have my beliefs, and I believe them because I think I'm right. I will often vote or even act based on those beliefs. I'm not saying that we shouldn't stand by our views and stand by them passionately and courageously - but that we don't have that much control over what goes on someplace far away. What we can control what happens in our local, every day lives, is how we treat others, and in that, being kind, listening, and showing mercy - those things are much, much more important.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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5 Tips To Help You Feel Better If You're Sick

A few helpful tips if there's a bug going around.

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Not to brag, but I don't get sick very often, maybe once a year. When I do find myself a little under the weather, there's a few things I like to do for a faster recovery. I have no idea if any of these are 100% accurate, but I'd like to think they do. None of these will immediately make you feel better, but they'll help quicken the process.

Drink lots of water.

This one is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to do sometimes. I know when I'm sick, I definitely don't think about it. Water can help flush toxins out of your body, makes you hydrated, and can help you feel more awake and energized! If you're not a huge water drinker like I am, Tea also helps.

Stay home.

If you're sick, it's honestly better if you just take a day off and focus on feeling better. If you're worried about going to school or work, it's better that you don't spread anything. Let me just say, I'm fairly certain the last time I caught something was because someone behind me in a class was coughing through the entire lecture.

Rest.

This one goes with the last point, but sleeping will help your immune system fight off any infections. It's good to take some time off and get any extra sleep you can.

Clean everything.

I like to wash all of my clothes and bed sheet, because they're what I wear and touch the most, especially my pillow cases. This will help get rid of some germs and stop them from spreading. It's also good to disinfect anything you touch often, like doorknobs and table surfaces.

Take medicine.

This one also sounds like a no brainer, but seriously if you expect to feel better soon you should be taking some sort of medicine. At the very least, it'll help with your symptoms, so you're not couching or sneezing every couple minutes.

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