Friday, October 3, 2014
I think a lot about what type of adults my children will grow to become. How what I do influences them and shapes them and all the choices they will make as they travel that bumpy, exhilarating, confusing and amazing road to adulthood (the road doesn't get much better after that, but I digress).
I wish every night that I help them navigate that road by being a good example.
Not so they'll be "good" adults. But so they'll be good people.
Here are six things I consciously try to model each and every day. I am by no means successful every day, but I hope they notice these little acts of what I feel should be a minimum of human behaviour when I display them, and hope they grow to understand why I feel they are so important.
1. Kindness. Always kindness. Two wrongs don't make a right. If someone is being rude or hurtful, ask if they need help, ask if they meant something different, and if these are not options, don't engage. Step away. We never know what someone else is going through and to throw more negativity toward what might already be a bad situation isn't ever going to help.
2. Share joy. Living in a city, we tend to walk around in our self absorbed bubble, where we go through our day just to get through to the other side. Many of us don't even realize how negative we've become! But sometimes, the smallest of things can turn a person's day around and remind them that while we are in a city, we are really all just part of the village. Smiling at someone you pass on the street, holding a door open, asking someone struggling if they need help, these are all acts that show not everyone lives in the bubble, and maybe, if we are really lucky, they might even pay it forward.
3. Take stock. Remember what you have, before you focus on what you want. It doesn't matter what it is you want, before you covet, count your blessings.
4. You are enough. That's all I have to say about that.
5. It is okay to fail. Get up, dust off, apologize if necessary, and try again. Always try again.
6. When offered gum, accept. Always. It might be a hint, it might just be a piece of gum. Either way, better safe than sorry. Okay, so this might not be an act of humanity exactly, but it brings up a good discussion. Sometimes people go about things through the rear door instead of blasting through the front. Instead of hitting the nail on the head, they coax it in, maybe they pre-drill, or maybe they worry the force of the hammer will break the nail. What ever their reason, listen to people. Look for the message between the lines. Judge lightly. Know they mean to help. And accept help graciously.
And take that piece of gum. Really, just do it.