Did you hear? It’s World Kindness Day. As a fan of kindness, I guess it’s good that there is an International Observance of it. Anything to bring awareness that we should be kind to each other is great, right? Now, this may sound weird to you, but it makes me feel uncomfortable.
I feel uncomfortable because being kind is second nature to me. I never realized that it’s something you have to work at it. Isn’t it something you just do?
How do we learn to be kind?
I recently heard, that we learn our beliefs from what we absorb. Then it’s natural that our environments; our family, friends, what we see, hear, and read all influence our beliefs. Is it true that if my mom is kind, then I learn to be kind and I teach my daughter to be kind and on and on… ? If so, you could say it’s part of my family’s culture to be kind. By being a part of that culture, we surround ourselves with the people and messages that support this belief.
The Care Bear stare
Maybe it’s because I grew up watching the Care Bears. The best part of the show was where they stood together radiating love and good cheer from their bellies toward their target’s heart to transform their evil ways, A.K.A. The Care Bear Stare ( imagine if that were a real thing! wow!)
As cool as that sounds, I’m pretty sure it’s because I have a lot of good examples of what kindness looks like, starting with my mom. She is one of the kindest human beings you will ever meet. She always looks for ways to help people, yes, even strangers and I mean that in every sense of the word, the strangest (love you mom!) She also attracts kindness. She attracts it because she puts it out there and she expects it of others. Even though she expects it of others, she is most humbled, thankful and sometimes surprised when she receives it. I’m not sure why though because here’s the thing, you attract what you put out there.
Living kind EVERYDAY.
Needless to say, it’s not one day that will make up if we are kind, it’s not something to check off a list. “I was kind today, check!”
Kindness is a level of awareness. If we aren’t being kind, it’s because we are being lazy. Building our awareness about kindness is like building a muscle, you acknowledge that you have it and you focus on it.
An easy way to start this kind of awareness is to acknowledge each other. When my daughter is in a store she says “Hello!” to everyone she sees. People always seem surprised by it. Maybe because she’s small and they wonder where is that voice is coming from, but more often than not I think it’s because they are being acknowledged. In fact, I’m focusing on teaching her to be not so kind; in the sense of not sharing her name with everyone or being overly trusting etc. (there are a lot of weirdos out there).
From an early age, I learned that I am kind to you not because you are kind to me; I am kind to you because it’s who I am. Because as a part of my family it’s who we are. It’s our legacy and now I’m passing it along to you…
To me, family is community and community is family. So, as the newest member of my family I have to ask; Who are you hanging out with? What are you reading? What are you watching? What messages are you absorbing every day? What are you telling yourself? I want you to think about this everyday, because it impacts your whole life. Most importantly, I want you to be kind and to be treated with kindness. Everyday.
Thanks for sharing your kindness by reading this!
Much Love- Audrey
P.S. Probably not surprising, my favorite Care Bear is Funshine Bear. I’d love to hear who your favorite Care Bear is in the comments below.