Courtesy and kindness

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Kindness is the king of virtues.

Rage can win headlines and whip a crowd into a frenzy. A stadium roars in approval when a coach goes on a rampage against an official. A politician’s poll numbers will rise if she goes off on a sanctimonious rant against an opponent in a debate. “Look how tough I am” is often the message. Ego is at stake.

Anger is loud. Kindness is quiet.

It’s easy to give in to anger. It’s a powerful emotion. That’s why defaulting to kindness and courtesy, especially when righteous anger seems justified, when someone has done you wrong, requires great strength and genuine courage. Whenever I have snapped at someone (which, truly, does not happen often), the regret is immediate and painful.

Next time I feel I’m losing my temper or itching to rant, I need to catch myself in the act and find the strength to observe the emotion rather than venting it.