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Tag Archives: kindness

People Can Be So Cruel

Tonight my husband treated me to a movie to ward off those Sunday Night Blues. He took me to see the movie The King’s Speech.

I loved the movie but came away feeling unsettled. I wondered after hearing the story of the king if I have inflicted pain on another’s life that has affected them already in their life or will continue to affect them in a harmful way.

It made me search myself for words or actions directed at others than may have caused them the kind of pain the king dealt with his entire life.

As a wife, mother, daughter,sister, teacher and friend the opportunities have been many to say or do the wrong thing or been interpreted in the wrong way. I hope that hasn’t been the case. I’ve tried to be kind and consider the weight of my words and actions.

When my kids were in school and would come home telling stories of cruel acts of others to others I couldn’t help but repeat the same words over and over to them. Be kind! Be kind! Be kind!

As adults my kids still relate stories to me of cruel acts that happened while in school. As a teacher I had parents talk to me about their child being teased or picked on at school or on the playground.

All I could do was to talk to students and their parents in hopes of things becoming better but often all it did was make things worse and they became more creative in their acts.

My husband as chairman of the school board has received phone calls from parents and grandparents over the past couple of years about teasing and bullying of students. Times haven’t changed much but with Facebook, texting and cellphones it seems things travel faster and farther than ever before.

If only all would heed the words…Be kind to all, the world would be a better place.

 

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Do you choose to be offended?

Have you ever met someone whose  reaction to every situation is to be offended?  Life is short and the relationships we have with other people are meant to help us enjoy our walk through our one and only life.  How can enjoy life with others if they or we  are constantly looking for a reason to be angry?  When I was growing up my parents always told us to be kind to others for we never knew what was going on in another person’s life on the inside.  They told us if they are acting mean on the outside they just might be hurting on the inside.  I can understand their reasoning and I have tried to instill the same thought process in my children as they were growing up.

In the past few years I’ve noticed that there seem to be more people who are easily offended.  It doesn’t take doing something in the wrong way to offend them sometimes it’s the omission of doing something that sets them off.  I think that this behavior is an outward sign of how self-centered our society has become in the past couple of decades.  Its the whole “What are you going to do for me and what have you done for me lately”  mentality.  How did we get here and how do we turn this train around?  We are not better for it.

The 2000  movie Pay it Forward starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment  in which a young boy stumbles upon a simple way to change the world had a lot of things right.  The focus has to move from us to the rest of the world.  We have to think of ways to improve the lives of those around us for the world as a whole to be a better place.  Before this can start we have to start with ourselves.  If everything is about us then that is all we are seeing.  We need to get beyond that point.  I’m not saying we have to head out into the world miles from our home for this.  It can begin in our own homes by demonstrating manners and politeness.  In my childhood days it was called minding your P’s and Q’s.  I think that has gone by the wayside. 

It can begin just be doing something unexpected to make someone else’s day just a little better.  Is there someone at work or home that normally does a specific job?  Is it something you could do for that person?  At work I can empty another’s trashcan, clean the bathroom, surprise them with a candy bar on their desk or just remember to replace the toilet paper if I used the last of it.  You may run into someone who will take offense if you do one of these things because instead of appreciating the kindness they may think you that you think they aren’t doing their job instead of trying to be kind.  Ouch!  Proceed cautiously but do it anyway. 

At home try to make kindness prevail.  When I do the laundry at home I don’t just do mine but gather everyone elses as well.  It’s not something I would have to do because I have two grown children living at home and they are fully capable of doing their own laundry.  What I have found is that if I make the extra effort to make their life easier they have done the same to make mine easier.  I come home from work some days with meals made and the kitchen already cleaned.  Kindness is contagious and it feels great.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Inspiration, New Challenges, Reflections

 

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