Call me old-fashioned if you may, but I choose kindness!

1. 264 million people are currently depressed on the official record.

2. 792 million people in the world are currently battling some or other mental health ailment.

3. Globally, 35 percent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, or sexual violence by a non-partner.

4. According to the United Nations World Food Program, 795 million people on the planet, who suffer from chronic hunger, did not eat today.

5. Some studies show that at least 531,925 people will be breaking up their relationships with someone today.

6. According to UNICEF, almost 10,000 children become orphans every day.

7. 1.35 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes.

8. The vast majority of the world’s sexual minority population — an estimated 83 percent of those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual — keep their orientation hidden from all or most of the people in their lives.

9. One in four women has some insomnia symptoms, such as trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or both. About one in seven adults has chronic (long-term) insomnia. Not being able to sleep well, affects all aspects of our neurological, gastrointestinal, psychological, hormonal, and metabolic health, often leading to serious disorders.

10. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Burden of Disease study estimate that almost 800,000 people die from suicide every year. That’s one person every 40 seconds.

11. 2.39 million people just died of COVID19 since the pandemic broken in 2019.

Someone is broke. Someone has anxiety about going broke. Someone is being trolled. Someone hates themselves. Someone is going through bad PMS mood swings, someone is dealing with weight gain from menopause. Someone has low D3, someone has high blood pressure. Someone is dehydrated, someone is suuuper-late to something important, someone just got dumped, someone just got yelled at, someone is simply anxious, someone is anxious about someone who is anxious! Someone is just, well, sad.

We don't know anyone's story. We don't live anyone's journey. Even if we may be with somebody every moment, we don't have any idea what it means to live inside that sort of a body with that sort of a mind while going through the sort of experiences that life has curated for them. So in other words, you and I will never know how someone is feeling today, why they are behaving the way they are behaving and how just about anything can make them feel.

We live in a world where hiding our pain is considered a strength. Closeted emotional trauma is seen as bravery. Living with toxicity is often equated to adjustment, or worse, love. Telling someone to back off, calling out boundary violations, being honest about how you feel - is called rude, dramatic, over-reactive. Result? We really have no idea how injured we all are on the inside.

As a person living on a planet with so many ailing and healing hearts, the least I can do is to offer as much kindness as I can manage to muster in my already broken heart! Assuming that every person we interact with, needs mental-health-friendly behavior, is perhaps the most updated definition of 'humanity' itself.

Always intending to be kind, is draining at times. I won't deny it. But I have found that being unkind is not much easier on the mind either. Being kind hurts as much as being unkind. I just feel that kindness works better for me. I am not someone to claim that my beliefs and practices will work for every person alive, but it works for me, heals me, lifts me. I don't know how to explain how being kind has filled my life with sparkle. I don't know what I can say in this one article that can truly convey the magic that kindness brings to my life. As it happens with most good things in life, kindness too leads me into a soundless speechless space within me, that can only be felt but never be explained. But I know one thing for sure: I would not want to be anything else but kind!

The world around us is full of broken hearts, darlings. We can't heal everyone. We can't even understand everyone. But we can always offer love, hold space, honor boundaries, make people feel more seen and heard, have the heart to listen, flash a smile at someone, offer a random compliment. We can always help someone fall a little more in love with themselves, believe in their own magic, listen to their hearts! I love getting high on kindness so much, I almost can't help it. So, call me old-fashioned if you may, but I always choose kindness.

© 2020 by Nidhi Chaitanya