A Lesson in Kindness

I think George Saunders is right. Or, at least, I hope he is. I've noticed I'm becoming kinder as I get older, though some of that is through direct effort. My mother used to say I was mean. I always thought I was simply forthright. But really, there are ways to be truthful and kind. It took me a while to learn that, and to learn to think before simply blurting out my opinion. Though of course sometimes I still blurt.

People are sometimes concerned when I'm quiet, too. But I'm trying to cultivate the habit of not speaking unless I'm sure. Or, I suppose, except when I need to ask a question. Problem is, I also tend to grow quiet when I'm upset. So sometimes people aren't sure whether I'm thinking or angry (or maybe both).

But anyway, Saunders is at least right in the fact that kindness lingers long in memory. One always remembers when others are kind. And I've found I'm happiest when I'm kind to others. Though that's selfishness, really—to be kind to others because it makes me feel good. "Its own reward," as they say. Well, that's the reward: It makes one feel good to know one's been kind.

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