Lesson: This is a simple but very essential life lesson that I am trying to be intentional about teaching my children.
Being kind is so under-appreciated and practiced in our world today! It’s sad, but if we let society or TV set the standard for how our children should treat people then we miss the mark. Being the wittiest and getting the best punch line in seem to be more important in our social media driven world today. 🙁 Getting more “likes” appears to be more important than someone else’s feelings.
I am thankful to the adults in my life that showed me how to be kind “just because!” Not to get a pat on the back or a reward, just being kind with the overall message of treating others how you want to be treated. I saw this through everyday practical things. Below are 4 basic ways I’ve learned to show kindness:
1- Smiling and greeting others: My Aunt Velma gets an A+ for modeling this for me! She smiles and speaks to just about everyone that crosses her path! When I was younger I thought that she just knew everyone because she was from a smaller city but I later came to know that was just a part of her daily walk in life. If you walk around with her for an afternoon, you just feel good after smiling and interacting with all the people she comes in contact with! The funniest part is when she makes someone who is looking absolutely grumpy or disgruntled smile. It’s something about smiling that can truly brighten the day of someone feeling down or upset. 🙂
2-Giving sincere compliments: This is another area you have to be really intentional about. My mother is really good at doing this! She always gives compliments to others and makes them feel good! I think a lot of us think good things about people but we just don’t take the time to say it to the other person. I really try to be intentional about giving compliments right in the moment so I don’t forget. We often hear what’s wrong with us so often, it’s important to point out the good in people when you take notice.
3-Let others go first: This is a difficult one for most of us in this fast paced world! We are all trying to get where we need to be as fast as we can so letting someone pass us in traffic or skip us in the grocery line when they have only a few things and we have 50 may seem simple but I know its hard for most of us to do in reality. I think this act of kindness would come easier if we slow down. When I slow down and pay attention to others around me, it’s easier for me to see ways that I can show kindness.
4-Holding our tongue when we don’t have anything kind to say: This should be the easiest one because the only requirement is being silent but it’s the hardest for most of us! This is a fundamental principle that we teach students in school but is not practiced very well by most adults. Sometimes the kindest thing to do is to remain silent and smile when you want to snap or give someone a piece of your mind. There would be a lot more peace in families, churches, work places, government and in our world if people kept their anger-fueled words to themselves.
Application: Really take pause and examine how you show kindness to others and think about what you can do to increase that and model it for your children.