Elise Ronan
Justice, justice, you shall pursue....

How hard is it to choose kindness?

I have been absent lately. That is true. In fact, I have been absent in more ways than one and I am not totally certain as to why that was. Whether I chose NOT to write, NOT to read for enjoyment, NOT to watch movies, series, or shows, NOT to meet with friends, NOT to go out into the world at large, I have decided to hide in a corner in my room, at my desk….working. Meanwhile, the New Year brings many ideas. It causes us to reconsider our choices and decide what, or who, we would like to be in the year to come.

I also found myself contemplating just what do I consider important? If you went on my Facebook wall you would most certainly find a lot of articles about domestic and international politics, antisemitism, Israel, hatred, and racism. Yes I am obsessed. I always was. But then again, as a student of history, I understand that life is circular and that what has happened once, can, and does, happen again.

So I perseverate over evil.

And the world makes it easy for me. Sadly.

Happily though, one day I took stock of what surrounds me, and I decided on a different way to proceed.

Yes, I deleted my Twitter app from my phone, but I still go on Twitter when I am on the computer. It is interesting to see just what is going on in the world, albeit from a very small insulated bubble. It is interesting to see how the world turns, and what is driving the modern madness of our civilization.

And in reading and watching what is on the Internet, and what is produced on news shows, or even what passes for entertainment in today’s day an age, I have come up with a way forward for myself.

I have chosen kindness — chesed.

No, it does not mean that I turn the other cheek. It does not mean you live as a doormat for someone else. That is so never going to happen in my future. And yes it has occurred in the past, and it bothers me. Sometimes my past failures even keep me up at night. Not standing up to bullies and the ignorant, to worrying about what others think, or how I didn’t always fight back strong enough against hurtful actions within my own community, is not a proud way to live.

I was once asked, as the parent of two autistic children what would I have done differently over the decades. My answer was “that I would have been braver earlier.”

So no, I am not going to take nonsense in life anymore.

I am too old for that.

I have a friend who asks, how hard is it to smile throughout your day? She with a profoundly disabled child sees the daily joy of life.

Of course, there are ways to get even without destroying your here and now as well.

Living well is always the best revenge they say. So we do.

As these Holocaust survivors with 100 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will tell you, their children are their revenge.

Not living as an angry person is also a good place to start. It is the first step to living a kinder life.

It may also mean removing from your life negative and other angry people.

That is not always easy, but it is better for you emotionally and psychologically.

Negative, begets negative.

Jealousy is a monster. Rid yourself of people who are jealous of what they perceive you have. Don’t apologize for the positive aspects of your life simply to make others feel better about their own poor choices.

I have also decided to spread my wings once again and reach for the joy I once found in reading, contemplating by journaling, and writing….simply writing my own story instead of watching others’ words enfold before me.

More importantly, I am remembering that kindness, in the end, is a joyful, soulful, spiritual way to live.

Just be nice.

I am not certain why that even has to be a choice instead of a given in society.

But that is what I choose for my year going forward. I will always ask myself first and foremost, “is what I am doing, be it an action, a thought, a written word, KIND?”

About the Author
#RenegadeJew ...Elise's specific background deals with the practical aspects of raising special needs children. She has over 20 years experience advocating for her sons and others. Her motto: Don't put off the important things. Stand up for what you believe in. Do what is right and honest. Have patience. Have self-respect. Be kind. And above all BE BRAVE. Elise is a graduate of Boston University Law School and a Certified College Transition Coach for Persons with Asperger's Syndrome. She blogs under a pen-name to protect her sons' privacy.
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