Unsubscribing from the email lists was probably the easiest challenge so far. My inbox is a lot less frustrating to navigate, and I’m significantly less distracted when trying to work through the important emails that are business related. Simple challenge, big rewards. If only life itself was this simple? 

Maybe it is. Maybe at the end of these 20 days we’ll experience an epiphany and discover that we were sweating the wrong stuff all along. Time will tell. Only a week to go. 

Day 13: Send an encouraging text to 5 people

Before you get all cynical and borrow a meme from one group to send to another group and assume that you aced this challenge, it’s not that simple. That would be abdication, manipulation, and lethargy, all of which I know are beneath you. So don’t do it! 

As is often said, giving of ourselves is the greatest gift. It’s easy to give possessions, even if those possessions are important to us. It prevents us from exposing the real deal we hold within. Giving of yourself demands sincerity, courage, and a healthy self-esteem, even if only for that small part. You wouldn’t have anything to give if you didn’t feel worthy. 

But here’s the important part. In a world that is exceptionally superficial and getting worse by the minute, sincerely giving a piece of yourself is in fact the ultimate rebellion. It means living romantically among distracted beings whose greatest achievement is getting that elusive Black Friday special that they will be able to gloat about for the rest of the year. 

There is more to life than that. Problem is, most of  us don’t know what more there is to life because we’re following the herd. And the herd is averse to exposing themselves for others to see their beautiful flaws, because synthetic beauty is all the rage. 

So here’s the thing. By reaching deep within and recognising something simple but true about someone, and then simply mentioning it even casually to them, you break that cycle of commending the synthetic aspects about them, and instead give them reason to pause and consider that they really do hold something of innate value within them that money or Botox can’t replace. 

Comforting Thoughts to Cuddle With

Sometimes the most sincere sentiment is expressed casually or in passing to reduce the gravity of it. We do this not because we don’t believe what we are expressing, but because it raises an expectation for us to produce more of such beautiful sentiments towards others. There is a burden in that because it strips away a layer of the defenses that we need to keep ourselves aloof of the needs of others. 

Think about it. How often haven’t you expected someone to follow a kind gesture with another kind gesture? When that didn’t happen, did it not give you reason to question the sincerity of the gesture that came before? That’s the crux of authenticity. We lose it when we behave inconsistently because we feel a need to embellish our vulnerabilities with a show of independence. 

Being kind is infinitely more difficult than being harsh. Harshness requires no effort at all, which is why remaining silent when kind words could make all the difference is easier than speaking out and getting involved. We are so burdened with life that we withhold the very gestures that we wish others would share with us. We are a strange bunch indeed, are we not?

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