Selena Gomez sings a song called “Kill em’ with Kindness”. She released it in 2015, the same year “Hands to Myself” became popular. The song was a manifesto for me when I went through a creative slump. Ironically, 2015 is also the year I started working on my bachelor’s degree to the ire of an estranged bunch of idiotic naysayers that allowed their fear that I would embarrass them to outweigh their actual joy that I had made the decision to be kind to myself and further my education.

See, I have always been the man turning the other cheek, supporting others never quite counting the cost that “support” actually requires. If you need a word to describe my impression of what I’ve done, the word would be fervent—which basically means with fierce passion. I like my role as the passionate advocate. That’s my impression of true kindness. A kind person is fervently there for others.

When there is a death, I’m accepting calls and instructions from bygone relatives who were, when I needed them most, too self-absorbed to truly aid me. I’d get last minute requests that were not truly requests. People demanded my input, my man-power, my money, my counsel, my prayers, even my computer. I kindly obliged because “obedience is better than sacrifice”.

I didn’t want to be the one that gave anyone a stone when they truly wanted bread. Although there are some willful lies I’ve told for fear of being a doormat, I have always delivered some form of patient kindness whenever necessary.

When someone is too pained with mourning to say the words they know to say, I have offered words up, because I know words are not meant to be scattered upon the waters of tumult without grace or purpose. I, in kindness, without much plan, have pulled sentences and exhortations, praises, and tributes out of my rear end. I’ve done this in season and out of season, never minding the HOT MESSES I’ve witnessed.

I remember birthdays, and although I am occasionally late with gifts, I come through. I act even when I have to be the same one that plans my own celebration, treated as though I was the narcissist that has not taken care of anyone, in any way.

Because I believe in kindness, I have given time to men and women who seem determined to plot disrespect toward me. But that is me. I believe love is patient, kind, and forgiving. But the kind question I ask often as I get older is: Who is going to be kind to me and give back when I lose the strength I have. The fact is: NOTHING lasts forever.

People are not meant to be martyrs; they are meant to share, but sharing is done with the promise that one day God will repay it back. Kindness should never have to be a point of scolding rebuke. No one should have tell a person that actually cares…to care.

I’m in 30s now. And I’m glad that I see kindness as something that is not concerned with narcissistic things like bank accounts, career aspirations, and new automobiles.

Do you know what a narcissist is? Derived from Greek myth, it’s any human that is so in love with their reflection that it is the very end and beginning of who they are.

Truly selfish people, (narcs) often tell those edging toward better self-care that they are inherently selfish. Narcs shame people for saying no to hurtful relationships, damaging experiences, careless engagements. The view is that the person making the “new” decision to avoid a situation that took advantage of them is “too needy”. But show me a professional that spared no expense when the quality of work was immaculate, and I’ll show you a jerk that has swindled so many, that he or she cannot help but believe that what has been done is “kind”.

But this twisted shaming mechanism designed to incite fear in broken people is nothing more than jealousy. If kindness truly starts within, then why would not the patient kindness of a lover reveal itself on the path toward healing. The conversation toward better thoughts and feelings starts with you.

And either you are happy because you work at it, or you’ll never know the difference between someone who loves you, or someone only willing to love what they believe you should be. There is something I’ve learned about the struggling self-absorbed person.

That person believes that the only kindness they ever need is the kind is that of fawning, fearful pedestal worship.

Some people believe kindness is limited to one deed every year. I believe kindness a daily, monthly, weekly commitment. You don’t have to put your friends or family on pedestals… but you must learn to listen with your heart. Because some kind acts are all about your actual presence, your time, your listening ability. There are no perfect people. When I was young, I went through a painful narc faze. I believed that the world was entitled to feel sorry for me because I was born with a disability. But all false misconceptions lead to dead-end dreams. I don’t have that air of self-important arrogance any more. I’m looking for my kindness to connect boundaries, to shatter roadblocks, to motivate brokeness, to liberate prisoners, and to alleviate anxieties.

To be kind, is to be willingly present.

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