Just being honest
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Well, I’m just being honest

by Ashley Ballard

I love where our culture is heading as far as embracing our individuality. Conversations are more exciting, people are more interesting, and it’s nice to not always feel judgment when admitting to quirky interests. The whole “be yourself no matter what” mentality is really paying off as far as personal liberties are concerned, but I’m a little worried that “be who you are” is turning into “do and say whatever you want” which is not really the same thing.

Having unique ideas provides diversity and mystery into everyday life and is important for a feeling of adventure in the mundane. Doing and saying whatever you want, no matter the consequence, has an effect on everyone around you and not always for the best. I’ve heard so many hurtful comments followed by a “well, I’m just being honest.” However, being honest does not have to coincide with being hurtful.

Sure, it can be a fine line, but when we don’t take the time and care to, at least, try to ease someone else’s pain, what kind of domino effect does that have?

There have been studies that prove our demeanor can affect anyone we come into contact with, be them friends or strangers. These people then go out into the world and affect the people they come into contact with, and so on and so forth until, in essence, our attitude has affected an exponential population. What would that population look like for you?

You may be saying to yourself that it isn’t your responsibility how other people interpret your behavior, but isn’t it? After all, we’re all in this world together and I don’t know about you, but I want my day-to-day interactions to be pleasant and peaceful. How can I expect harmony if I’m producing discordance?

National Geographic Channel’s Brain Games had a really fun episode on compassion that struck a chord in me. Sometimes, it’s so easy to forget our empathy and compassion when we leave the house for the day. We have to put on our armor to protect us from things outside of our control and shut off our hearts out of fear of the unknown. At least, that’s what I do. I walk out my door, keep my head down, and complete the tasks on my to-do list. It doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for compassion.

My New Year’s resolution is to try harder to brighten someone’s day, everyday. To be kinder to strangers so their domino effect will be just a little brighter. I don’t want to just be mindful of others for a couple of weeks, but all year long. A tall task, for sure, but I’m up for it because I want to receive that in return. I believe you can only get what you give, so give away!

Ashley Ballard

About Ashley Ballard

Ashley Ballard is a recording artist and mother of two. Visit Ashley on Facebook and follow her on Twitter

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