Kind people are my kinda people
If you go to a playground with your children and you see my flock walking up, it’s likely you’ll at least meet my oldest boy.
He’s in the habit of saying hello and wondering, with all of his might, who you are.
He’s also in the habit of thinking everything is his, he’s learning how to share, he doesn’t know boundaries and how far he can run before being pulled back in by my mom voice, and he really (really) likes attention.
While its easy to fixate on these “problem areas” as his mom, I’m learning to praise him for the things he does really well. And there’s one particular thing that he does well, that a lot of people I know — adults especially — don’t.
And I have to believe if we nurture and affirm this area of his life, its going to serve him well as he grows up and out of our home.
I see kindness being lost. I really do, I’m not kidding.
A missed opportunity.
A simple act that gets exchanged for other things.
Time, self, insecurity, pride…
Something given less generously than before.
And not something being nurtured and tended to in our little people as well as it could be.
Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s a kindness I shall never forget”.
I heard an elderly person say it once and it has stuck with me ever since.
The world is so tied up in what am I getting out of this? how does this interaction or relationship benefit me?
We get bogged down with things like too much to do, I don’t feel like socializing, they might be a poor influence, they think differently, I’m too tired today
What we’re mirroring to our children has become a lot more of shrugging our shoulders to strangers, holding a critical eye, being quick to assume, and micro-managing our time in a way that doesn’t allow the fluidity of life.
The fluidity in relationship.
I chatted with my husband recently about how even in close friendships, it’s easy for me to feel side-lined, unseen, under appreciated, judged and written off as “just” W&G’s mom now, or “just” Jeff’s wife.
It makes me want to rip my hair out, curl up in a ball or shout from the rooftops
I’m still Margot and I’m still here!
And that made me look within and start asking,
am I living kindness to my people?
(let alone strangers as our children are running up and down muddy slides and face planting in the dirt)
William is 27 months and he asks more questions than I do in a day.
He shakes more hands and says more “nice to meet you”s.
He smiles at strangers and believes people want to know him too.
(and gosh how that last part gets me, and my goodness this is a problem)
How hard are we making it?
Ask someone how they are doing.
Check in on your tribe.
Send a quick text.
Make a date once a month and really spend time with someone.
Actually pray after saying you will.
Lend a hand and lose an hour of your plans.
Follow your nods and mhm‘s with a real life sentence.
Mark your calendar.
Believe the best in people.
Use your words to build instead of tear.
Smile at a stranger.
Better yet, say hello.
Celebrate people’s victories…even when the victory isn’t yours.
Show up in the struggle, even if you don’t know perfectly how.
Respond to the knocking.
Practice affection instead of avoidance.
Make kindness a discipline if you have to,
but begin to live kind.
I think, just maybe, the world might look a little brighter like it does through my two year old’s lens, if we begin to. If we begin to be the kindness they won’t ever forget.