10 Ways to Show Mercy

18 Feb

Today is Day 5 of Random Acts of Kindness Week. Your challenge today is:

Show one act of MERCY.

"A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just." - Pope Francis


▶ the compassion or forgiveness you show someone instead of punishing/harming them.

▶ a combination of kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and leniency

▶ letting someone off the hook

10 Ways to Show Mercy:

1. Forgive someone for their mistake.

We all make mistakes - some bigger than others, of course. But, we can all learn from our mistakes, too.  Forgiving someone for a mistake and teaching them how to avoid making that mistake again is an act of mercy and kindness. It encourages personal growth and self-improvement. Instead of allowing this mistake to damage or destroy someone's self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence, you would be helping to repair and build it with a valuable lesson. This helps to build trust and strengthen your connection as well.

2. Instead of powering through, take your lunch break even if you're behind at work.

It is very common to want to punish ourselves for being behind with our work. For the sake of getting it all done, we're willing to sacrifice our needs. But, self-care is paramount to success. In order to be and do our best, we need proper rest. Show yourself some mercy by allowing yourself to eat mindfully away from your work. That bit of rest can help you reset your mindset, rejuvenate your spirit, re-energize your body, and refocus your attention so that you can do a good job when you return.

3. Instead of grounding your teen for breaking curfew, calmly explain your worry and give them another chance.

The teenage years offer a challenging landscape of change for both young adults and parents. You may have to create or adjust house rules to help set healthy boundaries for your teen. There will be times when your teen challenges these rules and pushes these boundaries. When that happens, it's easy to implement harsh punishments. But, I invite you to use these situations as opportunities to bring you closer together instead of worlds apart. Instead of being over-reactive, choose to stay calm and seek to create a win-win result to the problem when possible. Their behavior will mirror yours. Try explaining the concerns you have over their safety, personal growth, and future. Teach them about your life experiences, lead by example and show compromise whenever possible to help build trust and keep the lines of communication open.

4. Instead of spanking, screaming or taking a toy away from your child for breaking something, say you're glad no one got hurt and hug.

Even a child knows fear when they break something. Right away, they know they've made a mistake and that they might get in big trouble. Anxiety and adrenaline can course through a child's body just as much as an adult's only they know they are inferior. They know they are powerless and at your mercy. Help them get over that fear and use the opportunity to teach a valuable lesson. Show them that their health and well-being is far more important than anything you could ever own. Show them it's OK to make a mistake but it's more important to learn from their mistakes. By giving them a hug and telling them you're glad they are safe and sound shows them you care and that they are safe with you. This can help build trust and keep communication open.

5. Instead of calling your spouse names during a fight, regroup hug, agree to disagree, or talk later.

Fights with your spouse can be brutal. They can escalate quickly and get out of hand. Before you know it, you're saying things you might regret. Before it gets to that point, call a time-out and call a truce. Remember why you're together to begin with. Take some deep breaths and try to hug. In that silence, personal touch may help diffuse the tension momentarily. Back away from the fight, agree to disagree, and pick a day and time to talk more calmly about it. While emotions settle down, use the time apart to reflect. It may bring up new revelations to help you settle your argument. Whatever you choose to do, remember that your children are watching. They will internalize what they see and experience during your fights. It's vital that parents show that you can disagree with the people you love, but also that you can do it with love and respect.

6. Instead of writing up an employee, ask how they're doing, review the issue and your expectations, and give them a chance to self-correct.

People make mistakes all the time, especially on the job. But, what's more important than calling someone out on their mistake is preventing it from happening again. Use this opportunity to teach a valuable lesson, but also to show you value your employee as well. Ask them how they are doing personally and professionally. Maybe there is a concern they have that you can help address. Then, be kind and gentle when reviewing their job description and the expectations your company has for a job well done. Openly discuss what the position means to them and what they mean to your bottom line.  Show strong but kind leadership by giving them a chance to see how they could do their job differently to produce better results. Showing them how they can improve and acknowledging their value will help boost morale, bolster self-esteem, and build confidence.

7. Instead of flipping someone off for cutting you off on the road, pull over to calm down and find a song that makes you happy.

When it comes to driving, two wrongs do not make a right! Whether or not you have road rage, don't let what you see or experience on the road get the best of you. Remember, vehicles can become weapons in an instant. Your safety and well-being is paramount to arriving to your destination. If someone does something to upset you on the road, instead of going after them or displaying unkind gestures yourself, pull over and calm down. Reset your mindset with breathwork and/or find a song on the radio that makes you happy and re-energizes you. It's better to be safe than sorry!

8. Instead of starving yourself/over-exercising for eating too many cookies, drink water, and eat something healthy next.

Pandemic living and the holidays have made it challenging for people to eat right and exercise. People are experiencing stress, worry, anxiety, and depression at an all-time high these days. So, starting any diet or exercise regimen can be a challenge and a huge achievement at the same time. But, no one is expecting perfection. Once in a while, you're bound to overeat or eat something that contradicts your health goals. But, instead of punishing yourself for it, have mercy. Being harsh or self-critical won't help you achieve your goals any faster. Feeling good and feeling good about your progress will. Therefore, if you do overeat or make a poor health choice, forgive yourself and move on. Aim to let your next move be healthier and work on strategies to help avoid triggers to unhealthy eating instead.

9. Instead of losing your patience with a customer service agent, ask them about their day.

We had already been a society that ordered goods and services online. But, pandemic living has only increased our need to rely on automated services. Mistakes or problems are bound to arise, testing our patience and ability to stay calm. When they do, we are at the mercy of customer service agents for help. Now more than ever, we have to remember that customer service agents are people, too. And, they want and deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Pandemic living has strained us all. Let's remember that these customer service agents are inundated with problems all day long. They will handle our problems and concerns much better if they are thinking clearly and calmly. Therefore, take a few deep breaths to reset your mindset before speaking to an agent. Ask them what their name is and how their day is going. Be calm and patient on the phone with them. It will help shift their mindset and boost their mood and they will be more likely to assist you with any matter more efficiently and effectively.

10. Instead of berating someone for their inappropriate comment on your post, delete it and contact them privately.

In today's high-tech, fast-paced society, people are communicating more and more through social media instead of face-to-face. And, as it's been a heated political climate in the last few years, emotions are running higher than ever. Many times, people choose to use their social media as a platform to share or discuss their views. This can invite all kinds of responses from people we know and love and those we don't. But, what's happening more often is people are responding out of emotion while commenting or sharing their points of view. Sometimes the comments are wildly inappropriate or too negative. As a result, I've witnessed fights break out on social media between friends. It's one thing to share your views, but it's another thing to step out of bounds and make remarks that make people feel uncomfortable. Say what you want on your feed, but refrain from using someone else's platform for your negativity and hostility. If someone makes you uncomfortable with their comments, instead of adding fuel to the flames, choose to delete it and let them know privately that you would prefer they not share such inappropriate comments on your feed. If you feel they cannot handle this request or that they are just too argumentative, rude, or unkind, consider blocking them. It's OK to set healthy boundaries. It's OK to request kindness, respect, and consideration on your social media feeds. While everyone has freedom of speech in this country, you also have rights over your personal domain and privacy.

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