I have always been of kind disposition but I never really noted its importance until I had my daughter(s). It was when saying things such as ‘let’s use gentle hands’ or ‘that’s kind’ that it dawned upon me. I needed to actively be more kind. Consciously kind if you will.
I implemented specific activities at Christmas via the Kindness Elves (an alternative to Elf on the Shelf in our house). These activities focused around random acts of kindness (raok) every day of December. From donating to others to making gifts for loved ones to making food for the birds. The impact was enormous for us and it lasted all year. Connections were revealed to me I hadn’t seen before.
I was more connected with myself, my friends, family and with strangers. I saw vulnerability, awkwardness, relief, joy and more smiles than you can shake a stick at!
Whilst I loved seeing the joy in others, I also loved the effect it had on me.
Kindness permeated every part of my life. I chose kindness when people said hurtful things to me. Being kind allowed me to see that I can’t control others, only my own reaction to a situation. In this realisation, I found that I was less stressed out, or less likely to create stories in my head about what was happening.
I saw my daughter carrying out kind acts of her own and praising others for being kind. I was modelling the change I wanted to see in the world. In doing so I was passing kindness down the generations too. I was able to witness our innate sense of being kind within her.
Whilst I began with being kind to others, soon I was able to extend this kindness to myself.
Particularly when having a difficult parenting moment, or at least in the reflection afterwards. Suddenly I was open to receiving kindness, from myself and others. I accepted it readily and I saw the power of kindness. We all win when we give (and receive) kindness.
The beautiful thing about kindness is that it doesn’t need to be a big thing.
Here are some easy things you can do to share some kindness:
- Smile at someone
- Let someone go ahead of you in a queue (if you do this in traffic, observe what happens next – I bet they pass on the kindness)
- Listen to your child (really listen)
- Write a letter to someone you appreciate
- Tell someone one thing you love about them