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How to Respond with Kindness in Times of Darkness

How to Respond with Kindness in Times of Darkness

2020 is here, and we can now look back on the past year with appreciation and gratitude. 2019 was a great year, but of course, there were some difficult times—times of hardship, times of grief and times of tragedy. 

When bad things happen, how do we act individually, and how can we come together as a society? How can we be kind in times of darkness? Today we’re going to talk about just that, and how we can continue to live altruistically when facing heart-wrenching times.

1. Practice empathy.

The No. 1 thing to remember when responding to times of darkness is empathy. Empathy can be difficult when those affected by hardship are far away, look different than us or even have entirely different cultures.

But empathy—and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes—crosses all boundaries, unites us and helps us to remember that no matter what happens, none of us have to go through it alone. Notice that we say empathy and not sympathy. Sympathy says, “I’m sorry this is happening to you,” while empathy says, “Help me understand what is happening to you.” Practicing empathy in times of tragedy not only helps those suffering, but helps you grow as well.

 

2. Listen to others.

How can we be empathetic to the plight of others? By listening, which is not the same as hearing. We often hear what other people say, but don’t actually register what they’re thinking, meaning or wanting to happen.

We can respond to hard times by listening to those involved, even if it means listening to people we may not always agree with. Listening acknowledges someone’s feelings as valid and invites them into a conversation—creating a more altruistic dialogue—rather than an argument.

 

3. Give gratitude.

When we see terrible things happening in the world around us, it is important to remember to be grateful for the wonderful things we have in the world and our individual lives. A little gratitude goes a long way to living an altruistic lifestyle.

Gratefulness shows that you recognize negative situations around you, and you choose to find joy in the positives instead. When we practice gratitude, we have a kinder outlook on life overall and create a more altruistic lifestyle.

 

4. Lend a helping hand.

If you feel inclined, and it’s possible, see how you can help in difficult situations. If there’s been a specific tragic event, see if there’s anything you can do to support the victims’ families. If there’s a situation that’s been going on for a long time, look into donating to a charitable organization or volunteering your time to make a difference. No matter what it is, any impact you can make in the lives of those suffering creates a more loving world overall.

 

5. Remember perspective.

Finally, remember that for all the darkness there is also light. When tragedy strikes, embrace kindness by keeping perspective: This is not the end. This is not the worst thing ever. There is still a future. 

Don’t dismiss difficult times, but embrace the potential for good after the period has passed.

 

The future holds good and bad—this much we know. However, if we remember to stand for kindness, individually and together, we can continue to live a more altruistic lifestyle and support those who need our help.

Our Impact in 2018

January 1-December 31
  • At Amethyst Center for Healing we are dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities recover from trauma and abuse, so that we may all live peaceful, empowered lives.

  • Canyon Creek Services provides free and confidential services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties.

  • CAPSA is a non-profit domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape recovery center serving Cache County and the Bear Lake area.

  • Founded in 1984, The Center for Women and Children in Crisis has been in continuous operation for 33 years. Our mission is to provide a caring, advocating, safe, and educationally based environment for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

  • The DOVE Center is the only area agency providing safe-shelter, crisis intervention, and prevention for clients who have been victimized by violence in their home – whether by a family member or cohabitant – that also serves victims of rape and sexual assault.

  • Founded in 1922, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake is a non-profit organization that promotes safety, stability and self-sufficiency for low income families and individuals, as well as victims of domestic violence, through effective, efficient legal advocacy and assistance.

  • New Hope Crisis Center has been serving Box Elder County for 30 years. Our mission is to provide all-inclusive, integrated, victim-centered services to stabilize and support individuals, families, and our community.

  • Our organization advocates for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and the homeless. Serving people in Sevier, Piute, Millard, Sanpete and Wayne counties of Utah.

  • Peace House is dedicated to ending family violence and abuse through education, outreach, support services, and safe housing.

  • Safe Harbor, a non-profit organization, provides shelter, supportive services and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as education, awareness and resources to our community.

  • Established in 1990, Seekhaven assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault rebuild their lives. Serving Grand County and Southeastern Utah, Seekhaven provides a wide range of essential services including client advocacy, emergency shelter, and transition assistance.

  • South Valley Services is a domestic violence service provider in West Jordan, Utah. We provide safe shelter and supportive services to women, men and their children who have been impacted by domestic violence.

  • Preserve the heritage. Enhance the wellbeing. Strengthen the future of the People.

  • Our Mission: To help families of homicide victims receive hope, justice, and healing.

  • Utah Legal Services (ULS) is a nonprofit law office incorporated in 1976 committed to making equal justice a reality by providing free legal help in non-criminal cases to low-income Utahns.

  • Valley Behavioral Health is a nonprofit network of clinics providing treatment for behavioral conditions, addictions, psychiatric conditions, autism and other chronic health conditions. We treat chronic lifelong conditions as well as temporary conditions triggered by traumatic life events. Our programs are tailored to people of all ages and every social, cultural and economic situation.

  • YCC Family Crisis Center is a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center provide services 24/7 to victims and their children.

  • Today, the YWCA is Utah’s most comprehensive provider of family violence services; our programs include walk-in services and a crisis line, emergency shelter, transitional housing, children’s programs, and a vast array of supportive services.

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