Saturday, August 29, 2009

the unkindness of nonstrangers

I keep this Maya Angelou quote with me, at all times:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I find this to be profoundly true. People are harsh creatures.

Above my bed I keep this, by Eleanor Roosevelt:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

I think that sometimes people who routinely try to be kind to others…perhaps they do know when they are not quite making it. Perhaps it bothers them afterward. But perhaps not. Maybe this only applies if they care about the person they’ve been unkind to. Is kindness disposable? Are people?

This week, as I freight train toward an unhappy anniversary, my thoughts and emotions have been in a turmoil. I’ve snapped for no reason, lost my temper on occasion, and been especially tender when those around me have been thoughtless or unkind.

How wonderful it would be if whenever you were having a bad day, or week, or fortnight…those around you would just “know” and be a tiny bit gentler.

But I guess you really wouldn’t grow much as a person, would you? (And I know. It’s a crying shame my first post after hiatus isn’t cheerier. But thoughtful posts have their place too.)

And Mr. X…a fruit basket for you.


  1. I agree with every word. I wish a bubble could spring from one's head "walking wounded" it would say and you could intensify its colour or make it disappear as you needed to. I hope that anniversary passes as easily as possible for you - and that you watch yourself carefully in the following weeks when things and people might sneak up on you.

  2. I have always said that the kindest people I have ever met are that way because they have been through many struggles in life. Sometimes that is what it takes to truly appreciate everything around you.

  3. I hope your weeks turns out way better than you expected.....

    I like your quotes and I like Dr Seuss's saying :)))))

    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

  4. It might help to talk about it with the people you are close to. My daughter went through a breakup recently. We just didn't know what she was going through because she didn't say a word.

  5. I'm sorry that this is still so hard for you. It's not right. You are a wonderful lady with a huge, giving, thoughtful heart and should be treated as such. Find someone who will treat you better than you deserve.

    I hope those you snap at understand and don't take it personally. I'm here if you need anything. g


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