„You are too sensitive, you are too weak, why did you even get so attached? Why do you show emotions, you will just end up being used.“
„Why do you care so deeply for the person who has been almost evil towards you inside?“
„You constantly have to fight back, to be violent if required, to show authority, for kindness is not as has never been a solution in this fight for survival.“
„You are not strong enough for me, you are weak, your sensibility is too powerful of a negative trait I will never accept in the person that will follow me on my path“.
„Not arguing, putting down guard, when the other one does not accept your opinion, even after you explained reasonably, proves lack of confidence, for one that is right, will be willing to go to the grave for the idea he/she believes in“.
Those are just some of the phrases I have been confronted with, most of them coming from people I would have been willing to do so much. From people you thought they would understand you. From people of whom you’ve accepted all their dark demons, never thinking for one moment that those people are not “strong enough“.
And then what happens when through faith, destiny, or pure coincidence an accident confronts you with a difficult situation? What happens when the unexpected comes? How would you react if the life and security of another person is unwillingly placed into your hands? Are you prepared to take the risk and show humanity? To accumulate that kindness and fraternal feeling for the one next and give them all, or you will remain a bystander at someone else’s suffering? Will you just turn your back and close your eyes for one more time, because there is so much more happening already, and we cannot just help everybody?
And if you at least offer a hand, or you offer them both, how do you manage to detach after? How do you put an end to those endless nights of crying? How do you come to the point of metamorphosing the tears of pain into actual acts of good? How do you convince yourself that even a small step could be enough from you? That small, local impact is much more than enough? That one does not have to be remembered as a hero by many, in a hunger of feeding the ego, but that changing the path for some is sometimes everything for them.
Kindness is not weakness, a heart full of love, attachment and caring for others does not signal signs of lack of self-confidence; they are not attributes of people in need of dependency on others. Speaking your thoughts, opinions and even feelings can only prove power and security, leaving no place for uncertainty. I am sure a lot of us need to hear this. I know I needed to hear this for a while. Before recognizing that I have not been wrong, that I have always been enough, and also that the other one is, at the same time, not to be condemned for their strong remarks. This is not a manifesto for convincing some to be more kind and offer support in the critical times we are all facing at the moment, regardless of the cultural, geographical, religious context, times when death and destruction are omnipotent, or when coming close to a terrifying event in a place considered so safe and organized. With so much going on already in the world, one can almost lose all faith. This is just me saying that to be kind is to be good. Do not be ashamed of your sensitivity. You are the shoulders on which the whole faith of this society will lie on, at one point. Scary, I know. So how can that be weak?
About the author:
With a passion for culture, psyche, exploring the world, and coming in contact with an infinite number of stories, I studied theatre, film and media, in sociology, along with writing at the University of Vienna. I tend to find beauty in every single element, while always attempting to fully live every experience, to archive it in the form of photography and written word. Not one day goes by for me without a journalistic discovery, an interview recorded or articles structured. If I would have to set a goal for the future, it would be to find an equilibrium between constant academic research and my engagement in international opportunities. My desired engagement is on a multidisciplinary level, in a never-ending journey while also trying to discover the fluidity of the self, complementing the world around me with the goal of having a small impact in pressing global issues.