Being pleasant is not always the same thing as being kind.
Please discuss. How does this play out in life?
I’ll start us out. We tend to equate someone treating us kindly with them being nice to us. We think of agreement and sympathy as kindness and may feel someone is unkind if they disagree with us or don’t want to hear our tales of woe. We view support as loyalty to our opinions and actions.
A close friend or loved one may disagree with us or point out when our actions may not be in our best interests or aligned with our values. They may love us enough to ruffle our feathers and may tell us unpleasant truths with our best interests at heart. They are willing to risk straining the relationship to offer honest help.
Today’s message reminds me of the fine lines that exist between honesty/control and kindness/collusion. If I convey an honest, well-intentioned message that is unlikely to be acted upon, it is worth the conflict it might engender? Will I regret keeping silent? Is there a potential danger to others if I don’t speak up? Am I responsible for any hurt that might arise from my inaction? In sensitive situations, I will want to review my motivations and the potential gains and downsides of expressing myself rather than keeping quiet. I’ll want to make sure that anything I choose to say is honest, loving, and useful.
How about you? How do you decide when to or not to speak up?