I guess I am a woman of a different kind. How do I know that? Today I was informed in no uncertain terms that I was not kind. That statement came from someone that has known me at least for thirty years or more. After the anger subsided and the hurt settled into its familiar place, I started to wonder what that meant. Does it mean that I am not a nice person because I speak my mind? Does it mean that I am bitter, mean, and vindictive because I’ve been waiting for as long as I can remember to hear simple, healing words?
I looked the word “kind” up in the dictionary. So if I use the word in a sentence, such as: “You are not kind” the word is an adjective. And it means that I am not friendly, generous, or considerate. In other words, I wouldn’t make a very good Boy Scout. Or it could also mean that I am not polite, affectionate, or loving. That definition certainly didn’t make me feel any better. But then again, perhaps it was meant as a noun, such as: “You aren’t the kind of applicant that the Boy Scouts would accept.” In other words, since the Boy Scouts only accept boys, I am the wrong sort or the wrong “kind” of gender to join. Yes, maybe that’s it. I’ve always been the wrong kind.
There are variations in the definitions, so “kind” can also mean gentle, such as: “Choose a lotion that is kind to your skin.” Perhaps I am just not the gentle kind. It can also mean a polite request, such as: “Would you be kind enough to repeat that insult?” I can guarantee you that I am not the kind of woman that would make that request.
Then there is the vernacular use of “kind” in the slang “kind of” which means “sort of” such as: “She was kind of stressed.” It is several steps short of the real thing. So perhaps I am kind of kind. You know, not the real thing, but not at bad as not being kind.
So now that we’ve got that straight, it makes it so much more clear. I just have to decide whether I am not kind or I am not your kind or I am kind of kind or I am the wrong kind or perhaps you would be kind enough to repeat that insult so I can kindly figure it out?
© Kelly Tweeddale 2012