While watching Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly news I heard him do something nice for a soldier. To be honest I kind of tuned out as he talked, thinking of all the soldiers that no one ever recognize, get special treatment or sometimes not even what they are entitled to by our government. I promptly forgot about it until once again he was on the news to say that he had forgotten how the event took place or something to that effect. It made me think of myself and kindness.
Every time I try to go out of my way to be kind, I always say it turns around and bites me in the ass or is the biggest mistake I could have made. This happens more often than I care to think of. Each time I tell myself that before I do something nice for someone I better think hard and examine all the results that may come from my actions. I should think again before proceeding. Sometimes I act without thinking, this is something I need to work on. I need to make sure that if I am doing something nice it will not come back to haunt me or give me ill feelings towards the person helped. This does not mean I will no longer do nice things, rather I want to be sure they are the correct things. I will list a few examples of how being nice did not help.
I have a relative that is extremely smart. This relative complained they could not create a Facebook account. I was not feeling well that day but thought of the relative telling me of this, so I went to the computer, knowing this relative did not want their real name used, I created an email account, Facebook account and Twitter account for this person. I then emailed all the info that would be needed and told the person to change all passwords as I did not want to access any of their accounts. This person was only able to log in to Facebook (it seems to me that many intelligent people have a harder time with social media, as I know many that are unable to create accounts). I had sent a friend request and this person accepted it. I then took another nap. Awakening I realized I had done something for one person while possibly taking away from others I cared for, including myself. Facebook was a place that myself and many others could express our displeasure of something, could complain about other relatives without naming them, it was our place to talk without hurting anyone. By giving this relative a Facebook account we would now all have to watch what we posted. I immediately messaged all what I had done and apologized. By that time the person had already sent friend requests to these family members, they figured out who it was, accepted but were not happy. Within an hour I received a phone call from a family member who is not on Facebook, the relative I gave the account to had called and told the family member her child (who is an adult) was cursing on Facebook. The child, who I mentioned is an adult was yelled at by her parent. This was only the beginning of my kindness turning into something I regretted. It continues on, even now.
Many times another family relative calls and asks for money. They tell me of how bad things are. I send money. I later find out the money was used for something other than what it was intended for and the relative is still in debt. Normally when I give something, even money, there are no strings attached, it is a gift, once it is out of my hands it becomes the recipients choice of what to do with it. In the cases of the money that was needed that I had given there were strings attached. I gave the money so the power, gas, telephone, etc. would not be turned off or for something important such as that. When the money was used to buy things that were not necessities, I would receive a phone call asking for more money, after the first two times I asked for account numbers and paid the bills myself online so that the money would go where it was meant to go. I had said last November that I was done helping. But when Christmas rolled around and the calls started again, needing money, I once again helped only to be sorry I did. I should also mention this family member only calls when money is needed, never to just say hello. While I do not really want calls saying hello as I am trying to figure out my life, it only points out that I am an ATM to this person.
This will a work in progress for me. Something I carry into the present and future. Telling someone they look nice can brighten their day. Any compliment always seems to bring smiles. In this way, being kind should stay in my life. As for the kindness of the examples above I would like to say they will never happen again, but I am a realist. Though they might happen, I will examine each request or anything I do that implies kindness carefully. I will make sure I am not going to be sorry for being kind. I know I am not perfect, so there will still be times I am angry with myself for being nice, but I will work to be sure those times are less. That I am happy for the choices I make to help someone.
Which brings me back to Brian Williams. I think many have embellished the truth on TV. I do not know if he meant to or as he recounted what happened the story changed a little each time until it took a life of its own. I am more than willing to accept the mistake he made and continue to watch his news. Yet, looking at it from a different perspective, I can see where watching a man we are supposed to trust to tell the truth has lied. Can the public accept he made a mistake? Or must he be replaced with someone who we are not aware of any lies they may have told? I can see both sides of the argument and understand both sides wanting different things. For me, it boils down to Brian Williams is human. He made a mistake trying to be kind. Let us move on, not forgetting this, rather to make sure he remembers and tells the truth all the time while covering the news (in his personal life he can do whatever he likes). He is still the same man we trusted, only he has shown us he too is human with the story. Who among us can really say that at no time have we embellished the truth? I am sure there are some, they are most likely religious, if so then they should be the first to accept his apology. I do not have an answer regarding Brian Williams, only my opinion to keep him as the news anchor. As for myself, this has proven to be one thing I have learned about myself and kindness. Though he will never know it, his mistake will help me to not make as many mistakes in the future if I remember my past mistakes. For that I say thank you Brian Williams.