To my nice girls, the kind folk, the tender-hearted . . . 

I know you. I see you. I was you.

Thinking that kindness meant never raising a fuss, never stirring the water, never breaking up the flow. Convinced that being “nice” is the single most important quality a person can bear.

RELATED: I Refuse To Raise a Mean Girl

Let me reassure you, sweet beauty, the mountains will not crumble if you must raise your voice. The kindest thing you can do is set a firm boundary, and it is okay to stir the water if someone is drowning in the depths. It is okay if that someone is you.

It is not kind to stand by while someone is cruel. It does not help the people you love to let them walk on you, no matter how happy it might make them. It is not too much or too big or too loud to demand respect for yourself or others.

RELATED: I’m Teaching My Kids To Stand Up For Themselves

Sometimes, if you have bought into this idea of “nice,” being truly kind feels “mean.” But you are built to do hard things, and it will grow easier with practice.

The world does not need another counterfeit, cheapened caricature of “nice.” It needs you, in all your glory, to be a shining beacon of genuine kindness.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Erika Quiroz

I'm Erika, an eastern Montana cowgirl, wife, mom, crafter, and writer. Over-anxious and under-caffeinated, I'm just trying to give all my best to the people I love.

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