This is a topic that I have thought about for years and since having my own personal run in with the conflicts based on what this post will revolve around, I think this is the best time to explain it. The definition for these words will come from www.Dictionary.com and of course there will be various definitions depending on what source you look up the words in.
Kindness- a kind, considerate, or helpful act
Weakness- (1) the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, firmness, vigor, (2) a deficiency or failing, as in a person’s character
Silence- peace; peaceful condition of affairs
Conceited- having a high or exaggerated opinion of oneself or one’s accomplishments.
In society, there is this whole fashion trend, yes a fashion trend, of being “hard.” You are just so vicious and so on your game and you could be the biggest female dog or the toughest guy that no one wants to cross or knows better not to cross. In the cycle of hardness, everyone wants the power that comes with being “hard” even if they are simply playing pretend, which majority are. For some it’s a part of whom they are and for others they do it because it is how they want others to view them.
Due to this fashion trend a person who is kind or nice is considered weak, able to be pushed around and so on. Now if you look again at the definitions of kindness and weakness it seems as though kindness is a deficiency in a person’s character, meaning that it is a fault that needs to be removed. This type of perverted outlook toward kindness and weakness can be seen in the history books when we are taught about the Ancient European societies and even what we believe a leader should be and how a leader should act. Ask someone what they would define as a leader, the average description would include a male or female that is aggressive, that shows no mercy to their enemies, a person that is feared, puts people in their place, and will be quick to make important decisions with little time left on the clock. However, the word kind does not make that list because it is seen as weakness, a weakness that a human being cannot have if they are to be a leader. Take the average description of leader and apply it to the tyrants that history has recorded, all of them were aggressive, ruthless, showed no mercy to their enemies, they were feared, they put people in their place, and made split second decisions and yet they are infamous. The likes of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Abraham Lincoln (I will not explain this, you should have taken history), and so on. They exemplified what a leader should be, but without kindness they slaughtered many of their own citizens and were quick to oppress the people they deemed unworthy.
Now apply this to the high school and college setting. The popular kids or the kids in cliques, are usually just ridiculously rude and horrible, they lack any sort of kindness and make no apology for it and for that reason they are feared and of course popular. However, take a person who is kind and does not fall into the fashion trend, of being hard, and they are looked at as being easy to control, manipulate, easy to be used as a doormat and such. I have gone through this and it always resulted in me having to put people in their place; anyone could be a rude individual it’s so much the norm now, that people fall into it and don’t know how to get out of it. Yet, it takes a different type of person to be kind, one that does not look to validate themselves by the social norm, but who look to simply be who they are. Lauryn Hill, said it best in her song Forgive Them Father, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTQL42onK08, “If I treat you kindly does it mean that I’m weak? You hear me speak and think I won’t take it to the streets.”
Now to the second part of the post, I have never understood how a person who is quiet must be conceited. Why can’t it be that the person is shy, or doesn’t like to talk? But nope, immediately he or she is labeled as a stuck-up individual, who thinks they are all that, and feel as though they are too good to socialize with the rest. It’s always funny how it’s never the person who is quiet that says this; it’s the people around them that do, without ever knowing the person or getting to know them. I have many friends who this has happened to, many feel that they are mean and rude, but these friends are pretty, so that may contribute to it. Pretty people are always portrayed as one way, which is snotty, now yes there are those that are like that, but there are also those who are some of the sweetest people you will ever meet.
In my situation, one of the girl’s hating wanted to cut off my hair, when I recently got it done at the time, (That day she would have died, straight up), then she complained about how I acted like I was better than people. Take into account that I didn’t know her name and I never talked to her before, and the fact that I only talked to at least two or three people in the whole class. As I have gotten older I have learned the truth, sometimes it’s not what you say or how you view yourself that makes some people view you like that, it’s how they view you.
So to finish this off, if you think kindness equates with being weak, than you’re not as intelligent as you think. In fact to be kind in a world that pushes, promotes, and capitalizes on being the very opposite, you are truly stronger than your other counterparts that cannot. If you see someone who is quiet don’t think they are being conceited because that is not always the case and you can end up losing a chance at a good friend because of your incorrect pre-judgments.