The Strangest Gift

“The kindest people aren’t born that way, they are made. They are the souls that have experienced much at the hands of life, they are the ones who have dug themselves out of the dark, who have fought to turn every loss into a lesson. The kindest people do not just exist – they choose to soften where circumstance has tried to harden them, they choose to believe in goodness, because they have seen firsthand why compassion is so necessary. They have seen firsthand why tenderness is so important in this world.” – Bianca Sparacino

I’ve watched a few Mr. Rogers movies lately (the documentary and the Tom Hanks movie), so I’m fairly certain that some people are just inherently kind. But the Fred Rogers of the world are few and far between. Instead, I wholeheartedly believe that life can shape us into kinder, gentler versions of ourselves if we allow it to do so. Personally, I am a much kinder person as a result of cruelty I’ve experienced. I have a much greater capacity for joy because of the space that grief carved out. I am much more inclined to express gratitude and extend generosity because I know what it is to be without. It feels so strange to say, but I view past hardships as some of the greatest gifts – and teachers – in life.

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