Kindness is the Best Accessory
Being Kind To Yourself Is As Important As Being Kind To Others
Nothing's More Attractive Than A Nice Person
I just saw a study the other day done by the University of Notre Dame on KTLA News that claimed "mean people earn significantly more than nice people so it pays to treat others badly at work." As a survivor of more toxic, dysfunctional job environments than I care to remember I can personally claim that unkindness isn't worth it becasue it can lead to lawsuits, health and psychological problems and in worst case scenarios violence. It can also do a number on your looks. Whenever I see the people from those jobs I've had, who were haters and jerks to me, I'm always shocked by how rundown, old and tacky they look now. I have a feeling all of that negativity they perpetuated ate away at their attractiveness.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer last July I started seeing life more clearly and kindness became very important. Previously I could excuse meanness, and take kindness for granted, because I thought I had all the time in the world but today I know I don't. So instead of driving myself crazy with harmful situations I avoid them and search for supportive ones. That's one of the positive lessons I've learned from cancer. In addition to Kaiser-Permanente, the Cancer Support Community (CSC) and American Cancer Society have been consistently there for me during one of the most vulnerable times in my life. At CSC I participate in "The Writing Group" with other patients and survivors every Thursday from 11-1 p.m. . Arranged like a therapy support group a professional therapist/facilitator leads our sessions. Some of the topics I've written about in there have also influenced by articles and blogs so it's been very beneficial.
CSC also gave me two free hats made by "The Giving Caps Group" for patients undergoing chemo and have lost their hair. Recently one of their volunteers gave me a bag of clothes too. She noticed that I love fashion and knew I'd appreciate her donation. These gestures really moved me because they came from the heart and will help me as I move into my life as a survivor at school and on a job in the future.
It's been extremely important for me to maintain my appearance and be approachable and comfortable, during this time, so I wear clothes and accessories that're significant to me personally instead of just trendy. Despite the penchant for "offensive dressing" now I'm more sensitive to what goes on my body. That means my skirts and shorts aren't obscenely cut sky-high, my tops aren't showing everything, and my pants don't show unsightly bulges because they're too tight and too small. Despite my thin frame and nice body that philosphy comes from being kind and considerate to others,
I really noticed my change in attitude the last time I shopped at Goodwill Thrift Store and came home with a grey pencil skirt with a black velvet belt, a black-and-white polka dotted skirt, a black-and-white embroidered dress, made in India, and a white puff sleeved blouse to go under it. Fall 2011 is going to be a more adult season for fashion designers, such as Isabel Marant, Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada, showing more cultured, worldly clothes for women reminiscent of the 1940s. That means ladylike but structured dresses, wider legged pants, tailored blazers, longer skirts and cardigan sweaters.
They might not be everyone's cup of tea, just like kindness isn't, but the world might be a better place if you at least tried it. Who, among us, couldn't use a little more positivity in their lives? I think we all could. Don't you?