People are always saying not to mistake kindness for weakness, and while that's a worthwhile piece of advice, when did people start confusing the two things to begin with? Being open and willing to care about other people and offering to help however you can doesn't and shouldn't in any way equate to being weak.
I think that the root of the confusion stems from the fact that a lot of people seem to think that acting like they don't care about anything makes them tough. It's the same as people who claim to hate every singular popular thing because they think it makes them edgy or cool. It doesn't really make them seem that way. It's actually really incredibly draining to be around. It takes a lot more bravery and effort to remain kind and helpful in a world full of division like the one that we're living in today than it does to shut down and become emotionally detached from everyone and everything.
Remaining positive and kind doesn't make someone naive. People seem to think that because things in the world are tense in the world right now that the appropriate response is to become cruel or apathetic. I'd like to argue that the opposite is true though. Kindness isn't weakness. The kindest people I've ever met are kind because they have taken the brunt of life's cruelty and they came out of hardships stronger and vowed that they would do whatever they could to help other people get through those hard times, or to help prevent people from going through those times at all if possible.
People who think that kindness equates to weakness are those who have made a habit of taking advantage of other people's kindness. But that says more about the person who sees kindness as something to be taken advantage of than it does about the person who has it in them to consistently be kind to people regardless of what people in the world are trying to tell them. The same people who think that being kind makes you weak and vulnerable are the same people who go through life trying their hardest to keep themselves distant from everyone and everything because they think it gives them an upper-hand of some kind.
It's easy to be bitter. It's easy to let life and the unfairness make you jaded. But allowing it to do so isn't the solution. It takes strength and energy to remain kind through everything, but it's more than worth the effort to do so. The world can be a mean and unforgiving place so it's up to us to do our best to balance that out with kindness and forgiveness when and where we can. We can make ourselves and the people around us better and stronger by doing so. And besides, if nothing else, being kind just makes life so much easier, even if at times it's difficult to remember that.