Be Kind, Always

I’ve been struggling with something recently. I like to think that I’m a nice person. I try. But I’m not so sure that I succeed.

I had a friend that I used to talk to from time to time. We would do a few things together. We had some things in common. Dog causes and activities, go figure.

My friend made a few political comments and I discovered that we did not share the same political opinions or support the same politicians. I still cared about my friend but decided it would be best to avoid her for a while, until the political climate changed and such issues were not hot topics.

If I heard from my friend, I was always polite, but we didn’t do things that we had done before. Well, I learned recently that my friend died. This should not have come as the shock to me that it did. This friend was not a young person.

This gives me cause to ponder if perhaps I am not the kind of person that I thought I was, and have strived, and failed to be. I think now that I should have still gone places and done things with my friend. If the subject of politics arose, I could have said “let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about something else.”

People are certainly allowed to have their own opinions. They don’t need to be the same as mine. I don’t need every one of my friends to think exactly like me. It would be a boring world. Another thought-how will the world solve various issues without discussion and multiple insights?

I do not have the answers to these questions. But I have learned that I need to be a better friend, and more tolerant. Maybe not accepting of some ideas, but caring enough to still be there.

I debated whether to share these thoughts as they are rather personal. I decided that maybe someone else can benefit from my experience. How will you feel if you discover that it’s too late to make a different choice?

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. – The Dalai Lama