By Tracy Lane
When you hear about a bully at your child’s school, what’s your reaction? When you see another headline of hurt somewhere across the country, how do you feel? When a friend tells you about an unkindness that happened because of gender, a special need, family background, or even the neighborhood she lives in how do you respond?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in our world today with all the things that need to change. Our loved ones experience inequality. Division. Violations of personal rights. We can be discouraged about the enormity of injustices today. And those should bother us.
We wonder what how it will ever change. And how we could possibly raise dear children in the midst of this mess.
But did you know that it takes just one person in one moment to make a difference in the world? You could be that someone today. Your kids can be that someone for tomorrow’s generation. (Start them today for that matter!)
When you baffle at how to raise children in the state of our current culture, I think the answer speaks louder than the fears. Teach your children to be the ones who will do the next right thing over and over again. Teach them ways to show kindness in every small moment. Because the daily moments add up to a lifetime of difference making.
Kindness isn’t a magic wand to fix the world’s problems. But kindness closes the gap of our differences faster than anything else. By responding with and initiating kindness in every area where possible, you are capable of being the change our world needs. And so are your children!
A holiday in a month focused on love is a great time to begin an acts of kindness challenge. The printable cards over at Kids Activities Blog would be a fun way to get your kids on board with the idea. You can download and print the cards for free.
Each day before you head out to work or school, grab a card to deliver during the day. You could slip one in your mailbox for the mailman to find. Encourage your child to drop one on a teacher’s desk or in a friend’s backpack cubby. You might even want to sneak one into your child’s lunchbox. This is just a start.
Kind, encouraging words should lead the giver and the receiver to equally kind and life-giving acts. Help your child decide who he can help today. How can he include an outsider at lunch? How can he notice when someone needs a listening ear? And how will he make time to sit and listen?
Think through your typical daily routine. Decide who you can help at the gym. How can you support a coworker going through a hard time? Who might need a meal tonight that you could provide?
When we pass kindness around in our regular communities, our world starts to become a better place a little at a time. I think we’d all agree the world needs it!