Beneath the mask: The truth about kindness


Real-life Incident 1: 2016

Fellow lecturer: Politeness doesn’t work for our students. You’ve got to be strict and even rude. Also, what do you get by being kind to your students? None of them are going to help you in any way.

Real-life Incident 2: 2024

Me: What do you want to eat? Do you want me to order a McDonald’s burger for you?

Daughter: We’re no more going to order from McDonald’s. Or Zara. 

Me: Why?

Daughter: Because they support the Palestinian crime. 

Now, you may wonder about the connection between the two incidents. Hear me out!

The Myth About Kindness and Vulnerability

In the first incident, I was aware her views were not in the minority. In fact, many believe that kindness is your weakness. It’s your foolishness—doom. 

There is a widespread, flawed perception of kindness. Equating kindness to foolishness as synonyms is erroneous. If anything, there are smart, observant people who choose kindness over manipulation. 

Another misconception is the equation of kindness to martyrdom. That’s an unhealthy definition of kindness that’s untrue.

Embrace Your Power: Kindness is Strength, Not Weakness!

Kindness begins with loving and respecting yourself. Knowing your true worth and what you stand for and not. Once you define that, your kindness will make you set boundaries that’ll protect you against people who don’t mean well. In that aspect, kindness is not foolishness. Kindness is wisdom and discernment. Kindness is acting in your self-interest first and in those around you next. 

So kindness starts from within. Being good to yourself and filling your own cup first, before you can pour to others—ensuring that yours is always full. Kindness to yourself can look like anything from positive self-talk, daily self-care that starts with the physical and ends with the spiritual, and investing in mental stimulation like learning and development. 

Kindness also means standing up for yourself and the right causes. It is anything but weakness. Kindness is courage because it means standing up for the truth.  

Kindness is strength. It’s your superpower.

Truth or Dare: Navigating the Fine Line of Honesty

So if kindness is your superpower at an individual level, imagine its potency at a higher, global level. 

Compare the fellow lecturer’s beliefs to the sentiments of my daughter, representing Gen Z, in the second incident. Gen Z and the future generations are rabid about supporting the right causes. Be it sustainability, climate change, or humanitarian issues, including global peace. 

I find it amusing how we advise people not to be too nice, kind or honest. But we expect these same values from the products we use and the brands we purchase from. Ironically, the fellow lecturer is a marketing professor.  

Honesty will always be a superpower. Even more so shining like a superstar, in the age of AI like the rarest of rare diamonds. 

Jessica Alba and Selena Gomez are not hiding it for sure, with brand names like ‘Honest’ and ‘Rare Beauty’. The smart brands are embracing the timeless qualities of love, vulnerability, honesty, and courage. 

As a consumer, I know I’ve kissed goodbye to a whole bunch of brands and products that are apathetic, unethical, dishonest, and harmful. I don’t fall for marketing gimmicks anymore or what they say in their seductive ad campaigns. I watch closely if their actions match their words and promises. 

When we expect a higher consciousness from brands and products, why do we drop our standards to the bare minimum, if not worse, at an individual level? 

The answer perhaps lies in some of my favourite Brené Brown’s quotes, which run deep:

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

Traits such as vulnerability, kindness, honesty or love are not easy and comfortable. It demands so much work from you at the soul level. It’s way easier to expect it from others, including brands and the products we consume. However, when it comes to taking the harder route of working on ourselves to becoming better humans, we choose to become chicken.

*I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z.

Default image
Tina Sequeira
Tina Sequeira is a marketer and moonlighting writer. She is passionate about tech, creativity, and social justice—dabbling in and writing about the same.

Leave a Reply