Some people are kind, some people are warm and caring, open, and ready to help anyone at a moment’s notice. That’s the epitome of being a decent human being. But the completion of such an existence is to not allow people to walk on you without pause. Optimists will strive to see the good in everything while pessimists will note the worst in everyone and thing. The balance however is important to humanity simply because it doesn’t do to live a life looking at just the bad or pleasant aspects. One must find a way to be kind but remain firm, and be accepting yet fair.
Being kind is not a sign of weakness.
Those that grow to believe that kindness, mercy, and acceptance are signs of weakness are typically those that were never offered such emotional amenities while growing up, or have been taken advantage of too many times and have turned cold to the world. Kindness is a choice that people make, it is not prerequisite to being human, yet it is also not a sign of a deficient spirit. In essence, kindness is the chance we give to others to show that they are worth something, not just our time or our effort, but something far more valuable than what they believe.
There is a time to be kind however and there is a time to be cruel. “I must be cruel to be kind” is an old saying that some don’t care for, but still carries great weight if you truly think on it. Acts of cruelty are often seen as inherently negative as they are typically carried out in a fashion that harms another or makes life increasingly difficult. Yet cruelty is a relative term at times, as kindness can be seen as a cruelty to those that don’t know what to do with it. “Killing you with kindness” is a strange saying that also leads towards negative connotations, but only insofar as the person that is receiving such kindness can perceive.
Being a doormat is a choice.
No one signs up to be a doormat for others as it’s not an enviable position even for the most penitent of individuals. A doormat will gladly suffer the abuse, the burdens, and the depredations of others in an effort to show that they are compliant, friendly, and willing to help anyone with absolutely anything they need. Unfortunately this means that they will willingly give up as much as is possible without putting up so much as a struggle. Some might call this being humble, pious, or even pacifistic, but in truth it is allowing yourself to become the stepping stone for others without the benefit of the respect that might come with such an action.
As I said, no one just decides to be a doormat, but they do choose to not fight back, eschewing the right to become irritated or frustrated enough with those that continually take and never give back. The argument of course is that such individuals don’t know how to fight back and wouldn’t if they could. But the counter is that they still deserve the same respect that every human being is capable of receiving.
There’s no need to be the kind of person that simply allows people to walk all over them, but there’s also no need for a person to become unkind when dealing with their fellow human beings. How we react to the way that others treat us is always a choice, and is almost always dependent upon how we’re treated in turn.
Be friendly, be warm, be kind. But don’t let people take that for weakness.