24 Oct A wake up call to be kind to one another! (and 10 ways to start)
This was not the post I expected to write this week: it wasn’t on my editorial calendar & it doesn’t follow any current media trends. BUT….it is something that is on my heart, and something that needs to be talked about.
My question to each of you is: Why can’t we all be kind to one another?
This past weekend, my Facebook feed was filled with people from my small hometown offering condolences to an old high school friend. From the tone of the messages, I could tell something terrible & unexpected had happened. After speaking with another friend and learning what had transpired, my heart completely & utterly sank.
Our old high school friend had suffered the loss of his daughter.
At only 13 years old.
I can not even begin to imagine what he & his family are going through. The following day, there were posts – brave posts – from both of this precious child’s parents stating they didn’t want their daughter’s death to be in vain. They wanted people to understand that what you say and do, and how you treat others matters. It matters A LOT. They urged everyone – especially children – to take time to get to know those who are different from them, to make an effort to include the kids who never get picked in PE class, and to offer a smile and a hello to the kids who rarely seem to get one.
In a world where kids – and adults – have so many challenges and are often working hard just to fit in, why can’t everyone just be kind? Kindness costs you nothing. It doesn’t add to your to do list & it doesn’t take much time.
What if we ALL committed to the following:
- Smile at a stranger. Make eye contact & genuinely smile. You have an unlimited number to give away, and you never know when someone needs one.
- Pay it forward….and, do it often.
- Pay attention to those you interact with and LISTEN when they talk – they may need you to HEAR them more than you realize.
- Use kind words….and, use them always, often and ONLY
- If you hurt someone (intentionally or unintentionally), say you’re sorry.
- If you deliver negative feedback – as is often required in business – build the person back up, and leave them whole.
- Never say something behind someone’s back you wouldn’t say to their face (a rule I absolutely live by!).
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes before passing judgement. And, realize there is more to any situation than you know. Everyone is fighting battles we know nothing about.
- Stand up for others – especially those who don’t or who can’t stand up for themselves. Never tolerate bullying in any form (whether you know the victim or not). STOP BULLYING….JUST STOP!
- QUIT talking trash, belittling others, and causing others to feel less than. Always remember that putting others down in NO WAY builds you up.
Teach your kids & the youngsters in your life these valuable lessons as well. They haven’t had as much time as the rest of us to learn how to properly communicate and how to protect their self-esteem. Help them, guide them, support them – so this scary epidemic of teen suicide does not continue to grow!
Like my girl Ellen DeGeneres says: “Be kind to one another.”