I know that, to some people, I am special, trustworthy and reliable. They can tell me things they wouldn't tell others and can unload on me knowing there will be no judgemental attitudes. It happens at work and in private.
Last Friday I had my monthly one-on-one with my manager. It lasted the few seconds it took to tell me that he has no problems with my stats, my work or the training I give to others. He then proceeded to unload staff and management problems on me knowing I would not repeat it.
I also get to hear things from other staff members about ongoing problems they are having. If knowledge is power, then I am powerful. What I refuse to do is use that knowledge to undermine others, but instead use it to help them. Knowing their problems enables me to make suggestions to them and to management on ways to improve things, usually by helping to calm a situation down or nudge someone in a better direction.
The same is true in my private life, with friends and family.
Many of you reading this will smile and look at your lives, friendhips and other relationships and realise that you too are doing the same.
It is hard to be kind in a world where blame and selfishness are common, where power and knowledge are abused, but we keep on doing it as it's who we are. It also requires us to retreat from life sometimes so we can rest our aching muscles of kindness, ready for the next day. It also helps if we have someone to rely on ourselves, someone who will give us a warm hug when we need it, that special someone who knows our faults and loves us anyway.
We should never let ourselves be caught up in the nastiness and intolerence of the world, for only by being who we are, can we fight.