There have been some absolutely gorgeous entries on this blog about showing kindness to others, being helpful, and stretching ourselves outside of the box in order to grow. But today I'd like to talk about a different aspect of kindness, and one that isn't always easy to swallow.
The idea for this post bloomed in my mind when I was talking to Erica on the phone this morning. I ran an idea I had by her and asked for her awesome editor professional experience. And her immediate response was, "NO NO NO." Pause. "Ha. NO. Bad idea."
I started laughing. Because she was totally right. And then I wanted to kiss her because her point blank-honesty saved me from going about ten rungs down on the professional writer scale.
Erica is my friend and critique partner. She's also honest, even if it's something I don't want to hear.
|What do you mean you no like my snoring?|
But you know what? If I'm not going to be honest, someone else eventually is. And it probably won't be pretty.
Being truly kind to someone you love is being honest, even if it stings a little. Because if I really care about my family, friends and critique partners, then it's my responsibility to (gently) tell them when they're making a mistake that could hurt them. When that plot line in their story just isn't working. When that dress really doesn't look that great on them.
I always want to help far more than I hurt. But what I'm realizing is that sometimes there is more hurt in saying nothing than in telling the truth. And people deserve that honesty. I'm doing them a disservice, not a kindness, if I let them go out into the world with a novel full of plot holes or a dress two sizes too small.
So, I challenge you guys today: Be honest, even if it's tough. It's one of the best types of kindness you can give to the people you love. I promise.