Be Kind

Among the most amazing writing in history comes the Diary of Anne Frank. Hiding with family in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in World War 2, she was ultimately discovered and led to a concentration camp where she passed away due to illness. Her father was the only member of the family to survive and hurried to publish the journal shortly after its discovery.

The trials of hiding for several years in an attic is not something most of us could readily endure. Yet Anne Frank’s journal shows us that it is possible. Although not everything in her journal is uplifting, it still has many examples of how we don’t have to be trapped by the experiences we’re having.

If anyone could have been justified for holding a grudge or be angry for their surroundings, Anne Frank would have been right at the front of the line. She was a girl with no country and the occupying force wanted to destroy her for reasons completely unjustified. And instead of harboring anger, we could even suggest she mocked the weapons from which she was hiding. She kept peace at the forefront of her thoughts so she could keep the one they could never take from her: her spirit.

Please think on this as you go about the world. We have all been through things that have caused damage. So many of us just need to know somebody cares about us, that we count, and that our efforts mean something. For the pressures heaped upon us by increasing pace of the world, we could all use a little more kindness to get through the day.

Heck, even the toughest among us could still use an extra smile here and there. We don’t have to turn into total softies because business does require some toughness, but it is possible to have compassion at the same time.

Your Inner Circle

“Everyone is your best friend when you are successful. Make sure that the people that you surround yourself with are also the people that you are not afraid of failing with.” -Paula Abdul

Let’s carry on our discussion of relationships from yesterday.

First off, if you remember listening to Paula Abdul on the radio, you’re definitely another child of the 80s. If you’re not sure who is, just think big hair, drum machines, and fancy dance moves. The 80s was an interesting decade for music for sure! But I digress.

She still makes a good point, though. Obviously we want things to go well as much as we can. Nobody likes to be overly stressed or struggling to get through challenges when we would really rather be on the beach playing with our friends. And when things are going well everybody wants to hang out.

The real test of our relationships comes when things are not going as planned. When we’re maybe not as available as we used to be or asking for some help to get through the rough spots, our closest of friends will rally around us, lift us, and help us get through. Of course we can’t just sit around and let everyone else handle the mess for us, but even having someone we can talk to when things are hard can be enough.

It’s these people, the ones that stay closest to us when things are hard, the ones that sacrifice on our behalf and expect nothing in return… These are our genuine friends, that deserve our love and respect above all others. If we’re living correctly we should want to help anybody that needs it, but it’s okay to give this core group a little more attention.

We should certainly offer the same love and respect in return. It’s how we pay it forward and help everyone around us rise right along with us. I’ve offered my help to others just as I have also asked for it and my relationships with my dearest friends have grown tremendously. There is nothing we can’t handle when working together and I cherish that above all else.