The Art of Kindness

     Just a few days ago, I had a little chat with a good friend over merienda. We started talking about how people have a tendency to blurt out things, both unconsciously and consciously, without much editing. I'm  perplexed by this common habit of just saying things just for the sake of saying things. I'm sure you've encountered these types of people as well, the type of person who feels he has the right to comment on anything and everything, the person who says things without a purpose or reason in mind. I taught preschool for many years and although a lot of people say that kids say the darnest things, I can happily report that although kids are brutally honest.. they are definitely more sensitive and considerate of others than adults. Children say things because they want to get a message across, if they have feelings of hurt and anxiety towards others, they say it because they need to find a way to fix a sticky situation. Name-calling and verbal bullying develops when they're older and these are things they actually pick up from the adults around them.

     I remember attending a wedding years ago and being seated next to this middle aged man who kept  whining about every little detail of the wedding. Buong gabi nanlalait lang siya: "Ang panget naman ng suit niya, that's an odd shade of gray" and "The ceremony was so long and boring!" and "Why would they serve this as an appetizer? It's more like a dessert!". To him, the wedding was a flop..yet to me, all I could see was love, love, and more love. As he nit-picked about every little detail, I saw the loving gazes of the groom to his bride, the teary eyed father giving a heartwarming speech, the adorable flower girls with cupcake icing all over their dresses. I made a conscious effort to drown out his voice with my happy thoughts. It's possible for two people to experience the exact same event, at the exact same time, yet have two very opposing opinions about it. It's a matter of developing an eye for positivity and making an effort to see the beauty in the little things.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a happiness freak. I'm not going to throw a party inside a burning building and say "Wow, I love how it's so warm and toasty in here!".  That would be stupid. You also have to deal with your demons and face them head on. But what I'm saying here is: you can't please everyone, you can't choose the people you encounter, you can't edit the words that people choose to blurt out..but what you have control of is how to deal with negative people and situations. 

  People think I'm this happy go lucky girl, a little eng-eng of glee. And to some extent, I really am an eng-eng. (That's our family term for egghead!) Mababaw ang kaligayahan ko: I get teary eyed when I see old people kiss and I laugh at "use-in-a sentence" jokes. But because of my many life experiences, I've also become one tough cookie. And not just any cookie, but a TOUGH peanut butter and jelly cookie! Boo-yeah! So I've learned how to deal with all sorts of people through the years. 

   Just today, after reading so many heartwarming emails from readers..out of the blue, like a ninja in the bushes, out came this angry reader who blurted out so many harsh judgments about me. Then immediately after, she sent another comment to take back all her hurtful words and even had the audacity to put a "God bless" after! O diba, pagkatapos kang lait-laitin may "God bless" pa.I can almost imagine her thinking: "Naku po, ang sama ko pala..eto lalagyan ko ng "God bless" para makabawi". But it doesn't work that way, you can probably fool people but you can't fool God. He sees each of our intentions and deals with each of us accordingly.
    
     This is exactly what I am working on personally and how I would want to live my life each day, with a sense of accountability for your actions..you're not only accountable to yourself, to society, at the end of the day..you are accountable to God. As you grow older (naks, Manang words of wisdom na naman ako dito), you slowly understand how important it is to be accountable for your actions and decisions. Words are no longer JUST words, words are said more cautiously and comments are expressed more purposefully. (Except jokes, walang katuturan ang mga jokes ko!) I've made so many mistakes in my past, too many to enumerate--- think a whole yellow pad of sins and wrong-doings, that I wish I could take all back. But I can't. I have no control over what I've done in the past, but I'm blessed to have the NOW and the FUTURE in my hands. So you hit the reset button and start over. 

   Conan O'Brien puts it so well when he said this: "'If you work really, really hard, and you're kind... Amazing things will happen to you.' Kindness is an underrated trait nowadays. When you think kindness you think care bears, fuzzy baby seals and cute toddlers. In this competitive world, we celebrate CONFIDENCE, PRIDE, and SELF EXPRESSION more than we celebrate Kindness. Kindness is perceived as a trait of the weak, the sissies and the pansies. It seems so 1995 to be kind, so out of fashion. But when you stop to think about how hard it actually is to be KIND,you'll see that KINDNESS is a true reflection of strength. It takes a strong and secure person to be kind to others, especially when others aren't too kind to them. I once read that there is a big difference between being NICE and KIND. Nice is based on someone else's perception, you are NICE to please that person or to put another person at ease. But if you are KIND, you do it because it's the RIGHT thing to do and you do it because you know you have to regardless of the other person's reaction to your deeds. You are kind to someone not necessarily because the person deserves it, but because it's what God expects from you. Hayyyy, ang hirap talaga!!! It's easy to be nice but it takes character to be KIND. When you breathe KINDNESS, and sincerely and genuninely practice it each day..with no expectations of recognition and/or merit, you will find that life becomes simpler and more meaningful. Kindness won't make you rich, successful or famous..but it will make you content.

   I know I gush about my fiance all the time, but for me Patrick is really the best example of kindness. When I'm PMSing like a mad woman and become impossibly impossible with insane chocolate tantrums and a dysfunctional way of thinking, he always makes it an opportunity to show kindness to me. When I deal with difficult people, I always ask him for advice and he always seems to say the right things..even if I don't ALWAYS follow his tips because I'm too stubborn, the path towards kindness always seems like the more challenging yet fulfilling way to do things. So folks, let's kill everyone with our kindness! Every day is an opportunity to practice KINDNESS: to your family, to your boyfriends, to officemates, to household helpers, and most especially to strangers. 

33 comments:

Tippy said...

Hay nako to that ninja who just came out of the bushes & wrote you this e-mail. I always rave about how kind & humble your are to my friends. Clearly, hindi ka pa niya na-m-meet!

Anonymous said...

Nice one Patty. Another lesson learned from my fave blogger. Keep it up!

Jillsabs said...

I'm reminded of what Kristen Chenoweth said when she guested in Conan (or was that with Jay or Dave?:p), she said that in the south, where she grew up, it's ok to criticize, belittle or basically talk bad about someone as long as you end it with "Bless her/his heart."

For example: XX is a filthy whore who's been sleeping around with the whole town. Bless her heart.

So the one saying this, is not really judging because she said "Bless her heart" after. Kaloka!

I was laughing the entire time Kristen Cheno told her story because I could relate with our society. How people make it a point to go to church every Sunday, and then gossips like you wouldn't believe the rest of the week:p

Anonymous said...

you are kind kaya daming blessings.. i'll try to be kind na.. -mich27

Anonymous said...

Hi Patty!

I learned so much from this. The message is simple, but with substance. You hit the right points and got your message across.Looking forward to your next posts :)

Cha Kuris said...

Hi Patty! I have always followed your blog and I was so elated you went back to it after quite some time of hiatus. I visit this site almost everyday because it is such a wonderful source of 'sunshine' and positivity amidst all these chaos in our world. And yeeeeees, let's kill everyone with our kindness. It's the only murder permissible in any society. Haha! And I have read somewhere, "Given the choice to be kind or right, always choose to be kind." Cheeeeeeeers to kindness. Pausuhin natin ulit. =)

Dre, Anne, Julia and Rocco said...

Good things happen to good people indeed.

Exhibit A - Tita Patteh.

Anonymous said...

You inspire me in more than ways than you can imagine. It amazes me how a celebrity like you could be so down to earth. Love and blessings to you and your husband to be. I wish you all the best and nothing less.♥

Dre, Anne, Julia and Rocco said...

Good things happen to good people.

Exhibit A - Tita Patteh.

Anonymous said...

Nice entry. Very inspiring you got here Patty.

jenponix said...

what an inspiring for today's post miss patty!:)

joy said...

Hi Patty,
saw your blog through my daughters tweet today" Michi Phostory" And now I am your follower after reading one post from you:) It is really worth reading. Looking forward for more:)

Anonymous said...

Tama nga! you can't please everyone. Don't mind those bullies na nasisiyahan atang mangokray ng ibang tao. Madaling magkasakit ang mga taong ganon cause negative energy are flowing in their veins and heart. I believe in your kindness Ms. Patty it reflects in all your writings. :)

i am certified said...

I agree with everything you said. Thanks for this inspiring blog post.

Anonymous said...

I love this post, Patty. Made me realize a lot about myself. I'm not the kindest person out there and sometimes I tend to blurt out my thoughts without being sensitive to others. It sure is hard to be kind but I'm trying. :)

diane said...

keep doing what you're doing, "There's a saying you learn something new everyday" and reading your blog is one way of learning real-life lessons. I agree with you are "Manang words of wisdom na naman ako"

lea said...

you're right, Ms. Patty. your post reminds me of Mother Theresa's poem:

~ ~ ~
"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
~ ~ ~

^_^ Life is indeed full of choices. We can always choose to do good, choose to be happy, choose to be kind and generous. Choose love and beauty! Di po ba?

I like to sincerely say, "God bless you Ms. Pat!" ^_^

JanM ♥ said...

Aaaah yes! I very much like this thing you wrote. I always go for at least one random act of kindess a day. :)

janmloves.blogspot.com

teacher rosie said...

Hi Patty <3 Thank you so much for this. I WAS mean. Pero dati lang yun. Thank you for making me realize a lot of things. Now, I'm choosing to be nice and kind instead. Thank you for being a good example to everyone <3

Lor said...

Wow. It's not always you read posts as honest as this. Thank you for writing and continuing to write! :)

Anonymous said...

Ouch Patty!I'm guilty. Pero you never fail tlga to inspire people. Thanks for reminding me to be kind and sensitive. I heart you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this wonderful post, Patty! We're not 5 years old anymore that we can just blurt out whatever comes into our heads. Sadly, there are people who relish spewing hateful & hurtful things just because they like to 'keep it real' or 'they're just concerned about you.' Blech!
As for kindness, well nowadays when u ask people what traits they're looking for in a mate, kindness wouldn't even figure in the top 5 answers. Tsk tsk!

Anonymous said...

That is so true, patty. for 8 years, I have worked with adults--and I always meet difficult people who always find fault of others without looking at their flawed works first. What's worst is that, they say these things to gossip about a person or, they say it to that certain person with the intention of deeply wounding that person's heart. Now, I wonder if I would consider a work that would involve me with kids instead after reading your post. I often get tired of dealing with adults who are too self-absorbed to realize that they are the cause this world's misery.

Anonymous said...

You are a genius, Patty :) Thanks so much for the inspiration. As I always say in situations with negative people involved: Kill 'em with kindness. :) I wish you more graceful blessings. You have no idea how much I look up to you--not just because I am a preschool teacher and a TV host as well, but because I admire how you make complicated things so simple, so gentle and so positive. More power to you and to the beautiful life you will live soon with your partner. :)

PS: Can i have any suggestions from you as to what I can use to edit/collate photos into a collage just like you do? You're a pro haha! Thanks again, and for whatever it's worth, YOU ARE LOVED. As for ninjas in the bushes, there will always be hundreds of them, in several hundred bushes around, so kill em with kindness, or better yet, give them a lot of niyogs to slice as to confuse them with the bomb (nyek, Fruit Ninja) Haha! God grace you. :) -April

Anonymous said...

Hi Patty,
I was really touched and inspired by this post and i just wanted to say thank you. With my whole heart, thank you.

Yes you are usually in a joking light tone in this blog but you probably do not realize how much impact and change A simple blog can do.

I was having problems with a coworker a few months back and I approached a friend for advice. She told me to kill my coworker with kindness and I just laughed at her and told her she was silly- and its because, as I admitted to her, its so hard! I appreciated that you were honest and acknowledged that t is hard to be kind. But after reading your distinction between nice and kind, I finally understand what my friend had meant and I appreciate her advice more.

Thanks for keepin it real, for being human, and for encouraging your readers to do the right thing.

God bless you indeed!

All my love,
Ia

Thanks for keeping it real, for being human, but most of all,

I was having problems with a coworker a few months ago and confided to a friend and the advice she gave me was "kill your coworker wih kindness". I didnt underst

Anonymous said...

Naku sana walang typo dun sa sinend ko na comment. All the Best Patty! Idol kita. Maganda na sa tunay na buhay, maganda pati puso. Personal struggle ko talaga din. Thank you ulit!
-Ia

ParalumanZePoetess said...

This blog entry inspired me and made me realize that it's cool to be kind. I used to be kind when I was a kid to the point na natatapakan na ako ng ibang tao. Kaya, ngayong matanda na ako, tinubuan ako ng sungay dahil sa mga experiences ko at sa mga taong nang-away sakin! Pero mali pala yun. I became quick to anger lalo na pag may nagsasabi ng negative comments about sakin Dapat pala i-maintain ko yung kindness na meron ako nung bata pa ako. Pero hindi naman to the point na hinahayaan kong tapakan ako ng ibang tao. Mahirap maging mabait lalo na pag ikaw yung klase ng tao na gusto ikaw lagi ang tama.

dandaako said...

well said ms patty :) a very inspiring post. guilty din ako sa ganitong ugali but as much as possible, pinipilit ko na baguhin kasi hindi magandang kalakihan ng daugher ko

fozeewozee said...

This has got to be one of my favorite of all your entries! I'm so gonna live by these words. :) Thanks, Ms. Patty!

Patty Ocampo said...

kaya idol kita eh. hehe so inspiring! :) I hope everyone people in the whole wide universe can read this and be inspired to practice that "KINDNESS" thingy. :) God bless you Ms. Patty!<3

http://patriciaocampo.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Hi. Y'know what? I'll start something today. I'll start to change things. I'll try to live the life that I have always imagined. And you've inspired me to do that. Thanks so much.

~m

Anonymous said...

wow patty, i hope my kids will grow up to be like you...now i know what is nice and kind hahaha... i love your blog...

Anonymous said...

Hello patty,
I know it is a shame that i just recently discovered your blog..anyways ilove everything about your blog it is so full of heart :) this is one of my favorites so far..it made my eyes watery.Last year me and my boyfriend was mocked by an exgirlfriend.. So badly that it even ended up hurting our family and friends but instead of us resorting on revenge...kindness prevailed within us.

Continue to share such wonderful literary pieces.God Bless you always :)

-martha-

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