But Just What is it a Reflection Of?
When you think of a “hateful” person, what do you think of? Someone with a biting sarcasm and so much nastiness about them that they’re pretty much a human repellent? I’ve known a few people like that – so mean-spirited it’s a wonder they could stand themselves.
Then again, maybe they couldn’t and that’s why they’re so mean.
I’m actually not thinking about the word “hateful” in regards to how a person acts, though. I’m not thinking of it as an action verb as much as a state of being verb. I’m actually thinking about the following definition of the word:
Hateful – full of or expressing hate; malignant
Sadly, there are a lot of people who are full of hate and this makes them, just as the definition says, malignant.
- disposed to cause harm, suffering, or distress deliberately
- very dangerous or harmful in influence or effect.
Ugly stuff, right? It’s especially ugly when you think of a truth we’ve all heard for years: How we treat others says more about US than it does THEM.
Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – T.H. Thompson
I can’t imagine that anyone would wake up in the morning and tell their cat, “I’d sure like to be malignant today! Yep, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to spread destruction, suffering, and hatred. If I get cracking, maybe I can contaminate a good 10 people or more before lunch.”
Nah. Maybe I’m naive, but I doubt there are any human Grinches walking around. More likely than not, having a sour disposition has crept up on them and they don’t even realize it. They’ve become a negative, cynical, pessimistic, and hateful person without even realizing it.
That’s how all bad habits take root in our lives. Over time, they slowly soak into us until they become one with us. If left to their own devices, they come to define us. Think for a minute about the people you know – most of them, when you think of their name, conjure up an attribute or characteristic. Personally, I can’t think of anything worse than to be considered “hateful.”
The problem with being filled with hate (anger, resentment, bitterness – or any of its other cousins) is two-fold:
- hate makes its host miserable
- the host then takes it out on everyone else
Personally, I think some people treat others badly – not so much because of who the other person is – but because of the hateful seed deep within themselves.
By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. – Winston Churchill
Here’s an example, without going into specifics:
Recently one of my favorite athletes shared a family Christmas photo. The shot included himself, his girlfriend, his mom, and his grandmother! Precious, right? Most of us who commented on the picture wished him and his family a wonderful Christmas. One person (it may or may not have been me) commented on how downright adorable his grandmother was.
But there were others who, disgustingly, left cruel comments about him and his family. Some hate-filled jackasses simply said, “Shut up.”
Seriously. There are people like this in the world. When I saw these comments…. left on an individual’s family Christmas photo, mind you!.. I grew angrier by the minute. I ran away from Twitter and practically threw my iPad down. I’m not sure I could have been any angrier if this young man had been my own son!
As I sat there wondering what was wrong with humanity and how such vile humans could even exist, the anger slowly turned to sadness.
Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. – Author Unknown
Let’s face it, for anyone to leave UGLY, HATE-LACED comments (which is literally speaking to someone) like this, they have to be filled with hate and ugliness, themselves.
When I pour myself a glass of sweet tea out of my favorite glass pitcher, sweet tea goes into my glass. Sweet tea is in the container. Sweet tea comes out.
Those of us (Thanks be to God we outnumbered the Nasty Nellies!) who wished this athlete’s family a wonderful Christmas and echoed his happiness with our own words were filled with happiness, kindness, and love for others.
Sweet tea’s in the container. Sweet tea’s in the glass.
The others were obviously filled with unhappiness, bitterness, ugliness… not just the cousins of hate – I think they were hosts for hate’s entire family.
And an ugly sight they make.
The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid. – Author Unknown
I was thinking earlier about some of my favorite people. I’ve always been particularly fond of people who are agreeable, funny, and kind-hearted. People who are so busy living their own lives and trying to perfect the person in the mirror that they haven’t time time to criticize and demean people around them.
They’re happy with their life. They’re happy with themselves. They don’t want to knock anyone down or spread toxicity because they’re too busy enjoying life.
Show me that sort of individual and I’ll walk to the ends of the world with them. I’m lucky to have a great number of people around me who fit that bill.
The next time you catch yourself even thinking something mean or hateful about another person, catch yourself and MAKE yourself think something positive about them instead. After a while you will have developed a newer, better habit and no one will benefit from it any more than you will.
What if any one of the individuals who lashed out with ugliness and toxicity had stopped themselves and typed in: “Beautiful family! Y’all have a wonderful Christmas!” instead.
What would have happened? Well, think back to the Christmas classic “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” Remember when his little bitty heart grew larger?
Yeah. Something like that.
Very often the way we treat others is the way we look at the world. It’s a reflection of how we feel about life, in general – especially as it relates to us. Someone who is never content or happy with life – the one who thinks nothing is ever good enough – is often the one who treats others the worst. Their discontentment with life makes them discontent with just about everyone in it.
Like most things in life, the choice is ours. We can improve the way we treat others by improving our outlook on life or we can become so toxic and negative that small children run from us.
Not much of a choice is there?
Here are a few Calls to Action (because nothing is ever of any use until it’s put to use!):
- Start being kinder than you have to be. When you feel the temptation to say something negative to someone (whether it’s about their job, their weight, how they wear their hair..), say something nice instead. Not only will they feel wonderful (and possibly even surprised), something unexpected will happen – you’ll feel even better than you make them feel!
- Do something unexpected and kind for someone. It doesn’t take much (time or money) to make someone smile. If I haven’t said it recently (which I know I have), I’ll say it now – I’m the luckiest person in the world when it comes to family. This colorful cast of characters that fill my life are wonderful about doing extra little “somethings” for one another. Whether it’s me grabbing a great looking color of nail polish for my girls simply because, my youngest daughter leaving unexpected gluten free treats on the kitchen counter for me, one of my other daughters (or sons-in-law) bringing me a favorite drink from Starbucks, or my husband ordering me something awesome off of Amazon just to make me smile – we are all always thinking about ways to bring smiles to one another’s faces. What a wonderful world it’d be if everyone had the same mindset – about family, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers.
- Remind yourself each day to be the kindest person you know! New concepts, habits, and mindsets can quickly be tossed aside. After all, that’s why we have to make NEW New Year’s Resolutions each year. If you’re striving to be a kinder person – to life, to yourself, and… by reflection.. to others – remind yourself each day that life is a wonderful gift! To behave differently is a slap in the face to God, himself. Stop dwelling on negatives and dwell, instead, on positives. Doing so will affect the way you feel inside and the way you make others feel outside. The way you make other people feel is a reflection on you more than it is on them.
- Be careful what you THINK and how you TALK about others behind their back. These thoughts and “private” words will come to the surface and do more damage than you have right to do.
If you improve just one thing this year, improve the way you treat others. You may be thinking, “That’s fine and good for them… but what’s in it for me?!” Well, everything! If you treat others with kindness, you will be the biggest benefactor of all. Should that be your number one goal? Of course not, but it’s the truth.
Spread kindness. Spread happiness. There’s enough toxicity and negativity out there and the world doesn’t need any more of it.
See More Quotes About Kindness.