Resolution 2023

At some point in my life…well, I don’t need to be vague. It was after my marriage ended. I started to value honesty more than kindness. I would much rather someone be honest with me than kind to me, although being both is certainly a nice bonus. Over the past decade, my search for honesty has left me pretty cynical and jaded. There’s so little of it out there. I’ve just come to accept that most people have responded to the traumas and uncertainties in their lives by rejecting hard truths and coasting on a winding river of ever-changing illusions and manipulations. I don’t really hold it against them, but it makes them fundamentally unreliable. I have catastrophic trust issues.

But a byproduct of all this is that, in my mostly futile search for honesty, I have come to undervalue kindness, both in others and in myself. It’s been years since I put any real effort or thought into being kind. I mean, I have manners, I’m not an asshole (usually). But just as I would prefer someone be honest with me than kind, I’ve focused on seeking out and expressing truths and not given much thought to nurturing kindness in myself.

But objectively, I know that kindness matters. And I know that it matters a lot more to most people than it does to me.

So my New Year’s resolution this year is to become a kinder person. Not just to act more kindly, but to somehow find my way back to the part of me that valued and appreciated kindness. I kind of miss being that person, although I certainly don’t miss the naïveté that motivated me back then.

Is it possible to be both irredeemably cynical and genuinely, authentically kind?

Let’s find out!

Categories: Holidays, Life | Tags: | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Resolution 2023

  1. Joe

    Both kindness and honesty are important and they are not mutually exclusive, in fact they overlap. At the end of the thought, the human existence has relied on a set of mores and mindsets like love and cooperation and nurturing and education but even selfishness and self preservation have played a role in shaping our survival. When we surpass the moment of basic needs and survival, we can delve into the endless mazes of the mind and liberate all the secrets and beauty of life that is hidden there and we should wish that on everyone ergo the construction of an evolved world necessarily contains the kindness and honesty and love and nurturing mindset. The selfish one, which is to take away and break things and deprive others, is a cancer on all of us so we need to establish rules where everyone can thrive

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Debora

    Thanks for reading! I don’t I’ve gone all the way to selfish, I think I stalled out somewhere around “indifferent.” Maybe bordering on “mildly abrasive” in environments where I don’t feel as safe as I’d like. I’ve noticed that people tend to misread agreeability for manipulability (or moldability, to use a word someone thought they were complimenting me with recently), and I’m just to the point where it seems like being borderline unlikeable causes me fewer problems than being kind does. Not an ideal conclusion to arrive at, but here I am.


    • Anonymous

      [I couldn’t register for some reason but it’s still me, i’m just blabbering]
      The problem is often just people. Social fluidity is a skill, i know because i always lacked it, not with animals though, oddly enough but some people are just good at “it”. Me, I’m pretty hermitty and old now & reading your story makes me think how i couldn’t handle what you’re going through so well especially after having had my space for so long. Maybe that’ll happen to you…People are great n’ all but you gotta choose the time and place as much as possible and loneliness as a result from being with the wrong people is far worse than loneliness from being alone. I have the luxury of being surrounded by beautiful nature, got my dog and the internet. I highly recommend it, lol


      • Debora

        I agree with pretty much all of that! But I spent 12 years building a homestead in a remote little mountain town, my own version of being shipwrecked on a desert island. While it was a good place to parent small children, what I learned about myself is that I need a reasonable amount of social interaction to avoid mental stagnation. Books and Internet only get me so far, and then I need to spend time amongst my fellow humans. I think most of us aren’t bad people, we’re just trying to do the best we can with what we know, in a deeply unhealthy nation.

        I’m glad you found your happy place! That’s worth a lot!


      • Anonymous

        yeah, children, you can’t mess around with that, specially in the wilderness. You need support, it takes a village, absolutely. High adrenaline. Of course a successful family, of course.
        I was just trying to say out of that context that i think people are not so great in the end, at least 50% of the population are mediocre at best in terms of character and it requires mad skills to make it flow.
        lol, certainly wasn’t saying i am an example of anything, happy place or anything else

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Debora

    I think most people are not so great because they’re really not allowed to be. Modern US culture places so many roadblocks between the average citizen and his full potential. Independent thought is penalized, curiosity and honesty are marginalized, narcissism is rewarded, consumption=culture. It wears you down. The lucky ones manage to keep their spark alive in the oubliette, but the oubliette never seems to get any less dark.

    Sorry, now I’m rambling.


    • Anonymous

      Society forms people and civilizes them and it is conversely true also, this i agree. BUT it is when you are stuck in the full storm that the truth comes out and while most people may seem mostly good superficially, most people are not hard core “good” and we actually imagine that people are a certain way based on ourselves and we don’t really know them. You can be with someone for years and have imagined someone that this person is not. That flakiness was probably essential to successful survival of most animal species


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