By Natalie Issa
Watching the news nowadays can be scary. Our TV screens are littered with stories of massacres, police shootings, sexual assault cases, and other unspeakable tragedies. Sometimes it can feel like the world is becoming a scarier and scarier place.
Often, our lives can be just as scary. Whether you’re going through the death of a loved one, battling a mental illness, struggling through school, or just suffering, it can be hard to get out of the bed every day.
I’ll be the first to admit it—life is hard. The world can be even harder. Some people might say that in order to get through this cold world we must be hard and tough. We have to toughen up because kindness during adversity is weakness. If you’re sweet, gentle, and soft during hard times, people often say you are naïve. And you simply won’t make it.
But I don’t agree with that mentality. It’s easy to become bitter and stony due to the pain a hard life brings. What takes strength is, even in the hardest of times, remaining kind. It takes courage to be sweet and gentle in this scary world we live in. What is often mistaken for a weakness is actually strength.
Which brings me to that wonderful little quote from Cinderella (2015): “Have courage, and be kind.”
Let me repeat that just one more time, to make sure we’re all on the same page: “Have courage, and be kind.”
Yes, you can be kind and sweet and brave at the same time. Because being brave isn’t being tough or fearless. It is, as Ambrose Redmoon once said, “…the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
Being brave is resolving to remain sweet and kind and gentle even in dark times. In a world where almost anything can steal away your happiness and livelihood, please don’t let the world steal away your kindness, too.
Be kind to everyone. Be kind to those who hurt or mock you, to those who hold opinions or do things that you don’t agree with, and to those who are suffering for whatever reason.
There’s already so much hatred in the world. Don’t add to it—take away from it. Because being kind and loving doesn’t cost you a thing. Being cruel, however, can cost you a great deal.
Be sweet. Be happy, kind, and loving. Be brave and strong. And don’t let your fear dictate your life. As mentioned before, being kind in the world we live in isn’t easy.
But you’re made of strong stuff. And you can do it.
So please— have courage. Be kind. It can make all the difference in the world.