A few days ago I attended parent teacher conferences. I’m always interested to hear how the girls act when I’m not there. What notes of their personality shine through.
I keep thinking about what Lucy’s teacher said. She discussed how sometimes, she will pair off Lucy with some kids that may be a bit challenging for other students to deal with because “Lucy is patient and kind.” That would have been embarrassing to cry at a conference, right? Well, I didn’t. So don’t judge.
My heart is still bursting with pride, though.
Kindness. I love that word. It implies caring and intention.
And it is a choice.
Every day I have moments where I want to be quick witted and mean (and sadly, sometimes I am), but every day I remind myself, “What can I do here that would be kind?” It’s sad to me that sometimes the harsh response is the first one that comes to my mind, or the first response that I put into action.
I think about Lucy at school. There’s often pressure to go with the rest of the kids when responding to a situation. Lucy could make a choice to be cruel to kids who are different or simply distance herself from them. Instead, she makes a choice to be kind.
What does kindness look like to me? A smile, a caring word. Taking the time to listen to someone’s story.
Sometimes kindness is silence. Not responding with a harsh comment or making a judgment on someone. Sometimes kindness is tucking in a whiny, overtired child without giving a lecture. Sometimes kindness is taking some quiet time for myself before the kids, who are just being kids, lose all their privileges for the day.
Kindness is about those choices that I make. I don’t always choose kindness. I can ask for grace. The grace to choose kindness in the next moment.
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