The above quote from American author and poet Maya Angelou has inspired me to start this blog. As we are about to begin the International Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 9-15, 2015), I thought what better way to provide kindness not only to myself but to others by explaining what the above quote by Dr. Angelou (as she liked to be called) means to me.
Timidity means “to fear” and is often the cause of the fear that we experience. In this day and age where independence and ambition are heavily touted and promoted, we are discouraged from showing any vulnerability. We are not allowed to show our fears, weaknesses or anxieties. Also, if we do admit to these occurrences, we are told to deal with them. These emotions are so overwhelming that dealing with the entire issue can lead to an individual’s downfall and detriment.
Instead, let’s take a very small step to deal and “fight” the timidity. For example, if a person is afraid to speak in public, let them at least present for five minutes in front of their best friend. This will give the individual the courage to be able to present in front of five people, moving up to ten and so on. We are just told in general terms that there is nothing to fear, everything is going to be alright and/or we should face our fears. However, it might be helpful to provide us with some instances or tips on how to start and accomplish this process. The small step of combating timidity will prepare you for fighting the huge battle against your fear.
One of the smallest but yet biggest impact that you can create is to admit to yourself that you are afraid of something. That will release you from your own destructive thought process and feelings. Be vulnerable and open with yourself. Once you do that, you can open up to others about your timidity. Believe me, your sharing will alleviate the other person’s worry and it will free you from your own imprisonment. Don’t discount the impact that you will have on another person and in turn they will have on you when you share your anxieties. There is no shame in that.
In the inertial reference frame, Newton’s first law of motion states, “A body in rest stays in rest.” This is true for humans as well in terms of their emotional well being. Useless inertia makes you heavy and keeps you at rest. This will lead to further fearfulness and anxiety. We have to rise above this inertia. Expanding this law further, “The body will stay in rest unless an external force acts upon it.” For the heaviness to fade and disappear, a good external force is our ability to share our concerns and issues with individuals that we love and trust. Your support system will accept, love and understand you without any questions and will act as the external force that you require to step out of your timidity. No one should suffer in silence. Take the first step to talk and share.
These first steps can be something very small like smile at yourself as you look in the mirror, smile at a stranger, get out of the house, go for a walk, greet someone you don’t know or take the first step to do something that you have been afraid to do. That one act of kindness and courage that you are showing will just make someone else’s day. But you will never know, until you try it.
So as we start this week performing random acts of kindness, lets take an oath to be kind to ourselves first. This should not just be for a week but forever. Let’s rise above this timidity that leads towards darkness and this useless inertia that causes heaviness. Let’s take that first step of courage and motion towards happiness and light so that we realize our fullest potential as human beings.