I wasn’t sure exactly how to title this post, but I’ve had things on my mind for some time and wanted to put my thoughts down and share.
I am human and I am pretty darn imperfect, but I am trying to be a person I can be proud of, and set a great example for my children. Lots of people are great at being kind or generous in certain situations, at particular times of the year, or following natural disasters etc. My goal is to be the same person regardless of the situation. Not just when I am challenged to perform “random acts of kindness.” In a nutshell, I want to be kind, generous and positive. I want to give with no expectation, and that includes giving myself, not just “things” or money.
I am extremely self-critical and worry a lot about what others think of me, and I am constantly afraid I will say or do something to offend someone. I have a lot of anxiety and hate to think of the time I have wasted worrying about things that simply don’t matter.
The moment I truly realized and accepted that I have very little control over anything except my own reactions, it was like a light bulb went on for me. There is no sense in getting all worked up about traffic or long lines. All it does it raise my blood pressure (and make me look like a jerk, depending on how I react.) No sense crying over spilled milk is said over and over again, but it is so true. Clean the milk up and move on. Sure, take a look at why the milk was spilled and do what you need to do to prevent it from happening again, but getting upset about it won’t un-spill the milk!
In any situation, even the most tragic, instead of pointing fingers at others, look inward and ask yourself what you can do to change things.
I have seen lots of things on Pinterest intended to teach children to think before they speak (is it true, is it helpful, is it kind etc.) but children learn a lot more from what you do than what you say.
Take some baby steps to make the world a better place. When there is traffic and some jerk comes tearing up to cut you off (he must not have seen the zillion “lane closed” signs eh?) just let him over. Smile and move on. When you are calling customer service, realize that you are talking to a person (who likely had nothing to do with the error you’re calling about) and not a big corporation. Be calm, kind and patient. Realize that if you are offended, it’s your problem. Not the person who said or did the offending thing. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. Substitute “offended” and it’s still true. Think positively, think the best of people. If someone said something that you found inappropriate, assume that you misunderstood what they meant and move on. (Certainly, if they are very close to you, you may want to point it out to them in case they were unaware of how what they said could be construed.) Walk away from online disagreements. I see it over and over again with parenting and political issues. You don’t need to be right, and your arguing won’t change the person’s mind. Be calm, be kind, share your thoughts, and move on. That’s more likely to get them to consider your point of view than arguing.
I want to believe that people are generally good, but it makes me so sad to see how rude, selfish, angry and hateful people can be, and that seems to be the norm now. Help me make the world a better place. Not just today, not just for 26 days, not just following the next national tragedy or disaster.
Practice deliberate acts of kindness, and don’t keep count.