Finding Kindness in Everyday Life
People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou
The wildflowers are blooming and fresh leaves are surprising us from the bare branches of their sleeping trees. What a gift to have a fresh start, and an opportunity to keep an open mind- looking beyond what we may see on the outside and offering a show of kindness by removing judgement. Each one of us, including parents and teens, has a story and muriad of activities in our lives, and by offering kindness through our thoughts and actions, we connect beyond ourselves.
Students were given an opportunity to spread kindness this week by writing a postcard to someone they cared or were thinking about. A simple way to let someone know they matter. An act that offers no judgement of where the other person may be, but rather offers a kind word.
Practicing non-judgement can be harder than it sounds, as we often don’t realize the subtle or habitual ways that we do it. How often can we jump to conclusions or fill in the blanks without taking time to learn the details, broader context or reasons behind actions? We walk through our day bombarded with potential moments to read outside queues, perhaps misinterpreting them in ways that turn out to be far from the truth.
Walking down the street, we often observe people and create a story in our head of what we think their life is like, but it could be far different from the reality they’re living. Each person’s story is potentially different from the one being told or read from the outside. Starting a conversation that there might be more to the outside image, extends the act of kindness from one to another- parent, teen and beyond.
How many times have we made assumptions that our teen doesn’t want us around because of their eye roll or focus on their phone, when maybe looking beyond their outward action, we see that they may want to share space or need our presence. Our teen may not have the words or ability to say they want us nearby and may think they want to be alone, but research is offering another view.
How about making time and finding ways to put more kindness into our everyday life? We can take time to open our hearts and minds by withholding judgement and resisting the urge to jump to our first conclusion. As our teens have chosen to reach out by sending a postcard, we as parents can find our own ways of spreading kindness, and maybe the act will give us a moment of connection with our teen or another priceless relationship in our lives.
Celebrating Being Perfectly Imperfect!