The Year of Speaking Kindly (Day 2) – by Mike O’Connor

speaking kindly

Since I posted the challenge over two weeks ago, and as a warm-up to the main event, I’ve paid much deeper attention to the way I speak to and about others.

Well…it’s been a bit of a shock to see just how often I have been tempted to say something less than kind. In almost every conversation that I was mindful enough to watch myself take part in, there were many occasions where I had to check myself, apply the mental brakes, and either say nothing at all or say something slightly different than what I was originally planning to say.

I also realised after some of the conversations that I had been unkind in one way or another and this reminded me of how often I speak or act on autopilot and with little to no mindfulness. Not good!

“Isn’t it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?” ― Sean Covey

On the evening before New Year’s day, after my wife and children had gone to sleep, I sat in silence a while and considered the enormity of what I am attempting, especially as this challenge is in a publicly visible context. I’ve made a promise to myself, to Kindness Blog’s readers and to others taking part. To be honest, I’m feeling a little vulnerable this morning as I sit at home before leaving for work and am wondering how on Earth I will get on with at least one whole year of practicing NO

  • Lying
  • Slander
  • Gossip
  • Exaggeration
  • Mocking
  • Blaming
  • Undermining
  • Cruelty
  • Judging

Yesterday, New Year’s Day, actually passed fairly uneventfully for me in terms of speaking kindly. I spent the entire day with my wife and children and thus was able to watch my words in a fairly mindful fashion. Nothing really to report.

Today might well be different. I’ll be in the office with colleagues and the opportunities to speak unkindly will be far more frequent.

If you are joining me on this challenge, good luck to you and please keep me informed how things are going in your part of the world. Something tells me I’m going to need your support and comments.

Right then, day-2. Bring it on.

“Lying is easy. But it’s lonely.” ― Victoria Schwab


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17 Comments

  1. It is harder than you think. Even watching sitcoms that are supposed to be funny are actually putting people down. I try to be positive and kind in all my comments on other blogs. I hope that it will make me be like that in my life. But it doesn’t always work out that way. But the main thing is to keep trying. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  2. As I am one of those who is trying this challenge with you, I found myself being alerted to another aspect of it in a blog I was reading over the holidays. What alerted me to the situation was a short poem by a young lady who suffers from OCD and the poem she wrote pointed out how some friends she had over who were unaware of her condition, upon getting ready to leave, made an offhand comment about having to get a bunch of books sorted out at their house because, as they jokingly stated in an offhand manner, “they were so OCD”. In her poem she mentions that she laughed along with them, and then after they left she went in the bathroom and washed her hands till they bled. Her poem brought it home to me very firmly that offhand comments of that nature can be just as hurtful as a lot of the other unkind things we say, since we can’t possibly know all there is to know about everybody when a crowd of people gathers together. So this is just one more thing that I’ll be trying to watch as the year unfolds and I thank you again for giving me the opportunity to try this with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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