I wear my kindness like amour. I work in an industry where almost everyone expects you be difficult with them. When you aren’t it confuses them, often it is in this confusion that I am able to make a difference and lead them to the option that would be best for everyone involved. So I smile, I craft a friendly greeting, and react in only kindness.
You have to be very contained to stay kind. Too much and you straddle into empathy, too little and you find apathy. Don’t you dare start heading over to sympathy! I do not want to feel their sorrow, share this experience, or operate with a complete lack of feeling. I just want to stay kind and lead them to a resolution. I am the public face of my animal welfare organization, I am not your sin-eater (but that is another post).
When other people talk about paying it forward, I do not think about paying the next ten tolls behind me or picking up the check of the seniors who look like they are still in love. I think about how I can prevent the next animal from suffering under an uneducated guardian. Over the years I’ve walked that fine line where you allow someone to come to the conclusion you want on their own. I do not need someone to tell me where they went wrong to prove what I already know they did to the cat in front of me, it’s for their benefit. There is a kindness in letting people come to the truth on their own. I can only hope the realization will move forward with them.
Perhaps it’s my ability to look at each situation as it’s own that does not overwhelm my capacity for compassion. Yes, I see the bigger picture and the patterns but each pet surrender has it’s own story and each person deserves my respect and my kindness. People can only grow when they are supported. Even the bat-shit crazy hoarders and people who strike their dogs in front of you deserve your kindness. They may also deserve to have all their animals seized and charges filed but there is not reason you have to be a bitch about it. Don’t give them a reason to blame you for their problems, keep the focus on where they need to become better people. I am, by virtue, the one who helps.
(number 30 on week 21 of the pagan blog project)