Think you're kind? Surprise! You need to work harder on being kind.
There's nothing more humbling and eye-opening than asking a child a truth question. Children have no qualms about telling the truth or giving opinions, if they aren't afraid of you (and they shouldn't be afraid of us).
Since KINDNESS has been on my mind a lot these days, I thought I'd ask my family how I was doing in this regard. Since my son and I are together practically 24/7 (he's 9 and homeschooled) I thought I'd start with him.
I asked him if he thought I was a kind person...I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting him to say...but his answer was GULP 😲 revealing!
He said I was 20% kind and 80% loving.
Kudos to mom on the loving part 🤗 but a whopping 20% on being kind???
AHEM, thanks son, boy does that sure leave me a whole lot of room for improvement!
I dare you...ask a child or someone close (preferably living with you and honest) if they think you're a kind person. Be prepared for the unexpected. Then, humbly accept the answer.
The Wonderful Truth about Kindness
I could have chosen to get offended at my son's honesty, instead I chose to look at it as an opportunity to work harder on being kind.
I've thought long and hard about what the world needs more of and although LOVE easily comes to mind, the problem is most people don't even know what love is. People's ideas about love can be warped.
You need only look at the lack of love in families and of neighborly love in the world to see what I mean.
Love is poorly understood and poorly modeled, although many are well-intentioned.
Kindness on the other hand is an actionable word. We recognize when we're being kind and when someone is being kind to us.
So the wonderful truth about kindness is that we ALL NEED MORE OF IT.
I'm not saying we aren't practicing kindness, I'm simply saying we can DO BETTER.
If you're wondering how to DO BETTER IN SMALL STEPS see my post on 171 Ways Ways to be a Kinder Person.
After hearing my son's honest evaluation, I thought to myself...if I'm not kind, who am I to be preaching kindness to the world???
I had to think deeply about this and put my perfectionist tendencies aside to see that I was the PERFECT person to talk about kindness simply because I needed the reminder myself.
(Be kind to yourself and check out this post on dealing with perfectionism Oops I made a mistake)
If I make kindness my focus by talking about it, writing about it and sharing my thoughts with others, then in turn, I will be reminded as often as possible to work harder on showing kindness to my family, friends and strangers.
Are you ready to show more kindness?
Even if you're already known for your kindness, there are still ways to improve.
Self-improvement is like a video game with never ending levels to conquer. There's no such thing as achieving mastery. As long as you're alive, you'll always be working on becoming a better version of yourself, whether you're striving to be more patient, kinder, forgiving or more loving.
Action Item #1
Start with being kind to yourself. This doesn't mean shirking responsibilities, ignoring boundaries or lazily lounging around the house all day.
Kindness means being reasonable, compassionate and understanding towards yourself so that you're able to do the same with others.
Action Item #2
Commit to showing kindness every day! Put up reminders, pray about it, talk about it. Whatever you do, make it important to you.
Here's how my friend Carolyn has made kindness important to her.
The sign on her shelf reads: "In a world where you can be anything be kind."
💞I LOVE this Carolyn!💞
Thank you for allowing me to share it with my readers!
Ok, awesome people, go out there and be kind cause...
you make the world a better place!
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our favorite reads.