It’s 2021! I have been thinking and wondering so long about what to write, what with being spat out of the washing machine that was 2020. We are collectively picking up pieces, and trying to dust ourselves off. We are hesitant to take another step into the future. We know we are not through the worst of it.

As we reluctantly resolve to sheepishly make this “the best year ever” while hanging on for dear life on a sliver of hope. We are a mess and a mass of conspiracy theories, privacy policies, politics, and all manner of tossing and turning. Losing loved ones being locked down and curfewed for our protection and quarantined on a sneeze.  

Aren’t we just the living picture of irony? Irony because it seems that no matter how much we fight each other and disagree we are all in the same tumultuous sea; note I did not say the same boat, I saw an amazing quote recently that said “we are not in the same boat, some are in a yacht, some in a fishing boat, some in a canoe and some are swimming holding onto driftwood. We’re in the same storm on the same sea, but not the same boat.” Yet, Ironically we disagree about how “similar we are”.

Now more than ever is the time for kindness, for love, and for us to look to each other with empathy and compassion.  Be it this terrible pandemic or the mental illness from the year that cost us so much as a species.

This is the time to look up and stretch out your hand to your fellow humans and lift them. Now I am not suggesting that you rush home to cook pasta and apple pie and take it to your neighbor, although that would be nice. I am saying be kind. Here is how:

1.   Don’t be a Jerk!

My daughter came home today to show me an email thread going back and forth between her and a call centre agent about the appalling service she received. She simply wanted said agent to be a bit more “service” focused and a little polite. It seemed that the more she tried the more this agent dug her heels in and refused to even acknowledge the shoddy service and rude tone. Unrelenting, my kid- who is a worldly 27-year-old woman with an outstanding EQ. (fact – not mom bias), escalated this person to her manager.

Why go through all of that? Sure the agent may be having a bad day, sure it tough for all of us, but just don’t be a jerk. Let’s not flip the finger in traffic, let’s not cut each other off mid-sentence lets not wave off meaningful questions. Don’t be a jerk

2.   Look after you

Do the things. Do them now, be cliched, tell the person on your mind how you feel, then move on to looking at the most beautiful unique creation in the mirror and love them even more, every flaw, every bump, scar, and crease.  That there is an awesome being to wonder at. Look after your body, exercise it, take it out for dinner, dress it beautifully, sleep well, hydrate it, show it wonderful amazing sights, sounds and let it feel good. DO THE THINGS.

Be the cheesy quotes that you scroll through on the social media platforms. The ones that know what you ate for breakfast and your blood type and star sign. Do it. Spread love but start with you. I was given some advice on the weekend to get pampered. My first response was “how dare I” then my mind quickly changed to darling how dare you neglect yourself?  Spend time thinking about yourself, and doing what makes you happy. It’s ok, consider this your permission slip. Love hard, Laugh loud. Live, really LIVE, you know why…

My friend in America is married to a mortician I tried to ask a profound question today, I said, “what can your husband tell us about life, after dealing with so much death” She smiled and said ….” it ends”

3.   Thank you

Have a grateful mindset. I have written about gratitude before, this is where you sit down and count e v e r y   s i n g l e  blessing in your life, the people, the pets, the plants, the pots, the pans, the food, the drink, the clothes, the job, the mind, the opportunities the eyes the body, the smell the friends the corner shop the life you have and the breath you have to breathe it.

Then rinse and repeat. It’s your feel-good boost. Don’t go a day without it. I know this for sure and I will say it again and again. Gratitude is the jet fuel that gets you from A to B in no time flat while grounding you and setting those neurons on fire for even more and more and more to be thankful for.

4.   Care

Care. That’s it. Care! Pay the car guard. Tip the waiter, say “fine thanks and you?” and mean it, smile at people, care about their stories, show some empathy and care. Let people push in front of you in the grocery store if they must, care about them too. Care. Care to listen, care to mourn and grieve with others, care to make someone’s day where you can. Care to keep your opinion to yourself when you catch yourself judging others, care to give, care to reach out. Just care.

We have enough of the opposite, so care, and if you don’t, if you have zero cares for anyone else, then may I suggest some emotional distance and a different kind of quarantine? If you don’t care, please keep your mask on even when you are alone because we have enough negativity and people who don’t care. Stay inside for other reasons.

So there you have it. My take on being kind. A matter of the heart, a matter for your heart, a matter of heart to heart we are all in the same storm on the same sea. Just be kind

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