sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right
we are at a time when almost everything we do can easily be made public. photos, words told to and quoted by friends then posted online, even intimate and supposed private videos can leak out and spread like wildfire. the world is gradually revolving around the internet and online communities are pretty much alive more than ever. so imagine causing a ruckus in public. that surely wouldn't be left unnoticed.
this morning, i watched a video of a young woman shouting at a lady guard in a train station that went viral because of how the people who have seen it reacted. people will judge regardless of what they know and they don't know. as expected, most people think that the young woman acted rude and was wrong for treating a "mere" guard the way she did (mere, because that was what the comments implied). it is quite humiliating, horrible and scary to be in that girl's shoes, caught off guard while she lost control of her temper.
yes, as most reactions, i was pissed off with the girl too. but then i realized, i too have the tendency to act the way she did (well, maybe not as dramatic). but yes, i admit that there have been moments when i lost my temper and i acted a bit rude in front of a salesgirl, a security guard, a taxi driver, a tricycle driver, etc. etc. she was just unlucky to be caught on camera and become an overnight "sensation" (not in a positive way though). it is scary, i just have to say it again - to be painted as a bad person, to have your parents be blamed (and your school), and have your whole person be judged (including your physical appearance) for a few minutes of uncontrolled anger (recorded and uploaded in youtube). as if that few minutes is the sum total of who you are.
respect begets respect. kindness begets kindness. there have been countless times when i was mistreated or disrespected by people in different walks of life and there have been times when i retaliated (but again, not in that over dramatic way). and i always end up regretting what i did or said. i was not happy because i know that it is never ok to be rude. and if i could only say sorry to them, i would. but the point is, there will always be spiteful people - may they be people with authority or people we thought we have authority over. we'll meet them everyday. and it is up to us to deal with them the best/kindest possible way. it is never wrong to be hurt, to flare up, but it is also never wrong to just take our cool and leave people with their dignity intact** because we're doing ourselves a favor in the process.
i am, naturally, a very irritable person and my patience is short. i get easily annoyed and i often think of my own comforts. "selfless" is sometimes not in my vocabulary. but i read this once and it has never left my consciousness: "be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" (Plato). i think of this when i encounter an "unkind" person. it is not easy. but it comes naturally with constant practice, i believe.
be kind. i say this to myself every now and then. be kind.
although it is true that people often have the tendency to ignore a hundred good deeds and linger on that single mistake, but believe that every little act of kindness never goes unnoticed up there. He sees... everything!
so remind yourself to be kind with or without a camera.
** leave people with their dignity intact... something recently shared by a high-ranking officer at work who believes that it is one of the values he finds so endearing in our company and a value he lives by himself.