There's lots of talk about "Random Acts of Kindness" (RAOFK) lately. I think that more kindness in the world is a wonderful thing. But I've been thinking about that word, "Random". Here was one of my Facebook updates last week:
Random Ramblings: I've been thinking about "Random Acts of Kindness" (as many people are talking about and doing them to do more GOOD) Anyways, does doing thing for friends, family, and neighbors count as a "RAOFK" - for example, I've taken to making my lasagna for friends and neighbors that have a new baby - already made 3 in the past 6 months and 2 more are "in line" (it's a baby boom in our neighborhood!)...
So while I love the spirit behind the idea of RAOFK I'd like to concentrate more on Everyday kindness. Kindness to our neighbors and loved ones. And yes, kindness to strangers we see in our everyday lives (should we even classify this as "random"? I mean, I hope we all strive to be kind to people whose paths we cross every day).
Of course a topic that especially important to me is being as kind as we can to the children in our lives. What does it mean to be kind to our children? Some people think it *is* "kind" to punish a child if it is out of "love". Some argue this is the (only?) way that children learn important life lessons.
I do not agree with this assessment. A great barometer to use if you are unsure if an act is kind: would you say or do this same thing to your best friend/sister/partner/mother? If the answer is no, you probably shouldn't do it to your child either!
I'm not a fan of guilt, judgment, and finger-pointing either. No one is perfect. This is not about being perfectly kind 100% of the time. It *is* about recognizing how we can be kinder in our everyday lives. Patience, listening, putting ourselves in others' positions, taking deep breaths when we struggle - these are all ways we can demonstrate kindness in situations that don't bring out our best selves.
This is why you must start with yourself. If you aren't being kind to yourself it will be difficult, if not impossible, to be kind to others.
Up the kindness factor in your life starting with yourself. Love yourself, give yourself compliments and affirmations. Do kind things for yourself. The ripples will extend outwards to your family and community. Just think, if we all started doing this kindness would become so common the term "Random Act of Kindness" might become obsolete! Or even if it doesn't become obsolete maybe they will feel less urgent and necessary. Kindness anywhere is awesome. Kindness that changes the world will come from being kind close to home.
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.