Imagine for a moment that you're able to see your child as they progress through their school day. The bell rings, everyone exits the class, the rush to either meet up with a friend or move on to the next class sends a bustling energy through the hallways. Now, you see your child. They're focused, moving swiftly among familiar faces that they've known since kindergarten. And then, it happens...a voice speaks loud and clear for the group to hear but the actual words cut like a million little knives into the depth of your child's emotions and self-esteem..."Oh, are they walking with US now?". BAM!
That comment could have had any other connotation. It could have been positive based on the simple inflection of the words that are strung together, like "Ohhh, are they walking with us now?". An excitement, a welcoming, a very powerful form of kindness.
"You never know what someone else is going through but the true power that we all possess is the ability to lift someone up or push them down."
See, we all strive so hard in our personal and professional lives to be kind, lead with the best intent to put on a "good" face. Why? Well, maybe for some, it's how we truly want to live our lives. We want to be positive, want to embrace whomever we cross paths with from day to day, or selfishly, we know that we are in charge of our own PR and we want to show that we are a team player, we know how to act, we want to put on a good show. Whatever the reason, as we change from adolescence to adulthood, we realize that kindness can have a big impact, whether it's on how people perceive us or how we choose to be to others.
I have always been a proponent of kindness. It probably goes back to the days of being bullied in middle school, but that's something to share another day. When I became a mother and my heart filled with love and emotion for my children, I wanted to protect and love them and to teach and guide them. The thought of being the best parent I can be would no doubt translate into our children being the best people they could possibly be.
But as they grow, do we pass along the reminder of how we should be to others? We teach them "Please" and "Thank You" but do we teach them to be kind? Do we teach them o truly welcome others, to not judge because we know the power of judgement can be detrimental to a person's well-being, or do we forget and get lost in the busyness of our lives and just well, forget to show that to be kind impacts us all.
So, if you've taken the time to read this, can I ask that you take the time to absorb these thoughts and really think about how you can improve kindness in your life? No one is perfect. Everyone has rough days where we snap or maybe we don't act as kind as we should. But hopefully that is what this is about - Reminding ourselves to be kind and welcoming. And to also teach our children to be kind and welcoming to others. You never know what someone else is going through but the true power that we all possess is the ability to lift someone up or push them down.
We teach them "Please" and "Thank You" but do we teach them to be kind?"
The trials of adolescence are filled with changes in bodies, hormones, and thoughts. We can't really control the physical changes that occur but we can support our children in teaching them the power of their thoughts, which in turn effects their self esteem, which will carry them through their entire life. If we don't teach them, who will?
Kindness impacts us all. Will you join me in making a conscious effort in showing compassion and kindness toward others? It's a bridge that we can all cross together and quite honestly, a pretty powerful one.