“When kindness comes at the expense of truth, it is not a kindness worth having.”
– Rachel Simmons
I saw this quote earlier this week and I fell in love with it.
In this world of fast response, we do not always take a few minutes to carefully select our words even though we all know that words have power. We have all felt the sting of words chosen in haste, or in a moment of strong emotion. We have each regretted words spoken under those same circumstances.
After inflicting pain on someone with ill chosen words, I would bet that we have all also erred on the side of kindness afterwards. Regret can be a strong motivation to change.
This quote asks us to consider the other side of that response. Is it really better to be kind if in order to be kind we are not being truthful?
Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements begin with “be impeccable with your word.” To me this suggests that being truthful and using precise language is crucial to living an authentic life.
Truth or kindness? Do we have to choose? Are they mutually exclusive?
Do we fall back on cliche? ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?’ Is silence the solution? Or is silence another form of kindness which may come at the expense of truth?
I believe it all comes back to mindfulness. If you are speaking the truth, try to be mindful that it is YOUR truth. If you need to share your truth, be mindful of the words you are using to share that truth and try to speak the truth with kindness.
I believe that kindness without truth is far from kind.