“To err on the side of kindness is seldom an error.” (Liz Armbruster), as seen some time ago on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
In place of “kindness”, one could also use the words “honesty” or “modesty” or “openness” or any number of words that all boil down to the same thing – doing what is right.
How many times after an event or encounter have you had to say to yourself, “Oh crap, I shouldn’t have said that or I shouldn’t have done that?” You erred on the other side of kindness and you know it. So, now you have to figure out a way to apologize and make it right.
Errors that lead to having to apologize are often committed in haste – a knee-jerk reaction, quick retort or quip – or without thinking – an off-hand remark or a casual and unintended snub. So, perhaps the first thing that you should resolve to do, in order to err on the side of kindness, is to stop before you act, react or reply. Just that momentary pause, before you respond to the situation at hand, may give you just enough time to catch yourself before you lash back in response to a treat or perceived hurt. You might be surprised how fast your restraint can kick in, if you give it a chance. Perhaps that’s where some yoga training could come in handy.
Doing nothing in response to an event seldom causes the damage that responding inappropriately to something that was really nothing. Of course there are events that demand a response in order to save yourself or someone else from some harm and doing nothing in those instances could also be bad. It is just as bad to later be down on yourself because you didn’t step in and do something to stop or right a wrong.
So, err on the side of kindness and take action in defense of what is right and you will seldom have to apologize later. You might also find later that you are quite proud of yourself; as well you should be, you did what was right and that is never an error.
Be kind out there today…