I have the sweetest kids. So, this young man of mine told me that he was feeling blue. As I inquired further, he clarified, “Well, no, I’m just worried… about people getting fired from their jobs after they’ve worked so hard to get them… I’m worried about people causing harm to other people, emotionally and physically. And not just a little harm, but a LOT of harm.”
Yes, it’s true. My 11-year-old sometimes talks like he’s in college. He also worries a lot about animals and people.
I sat down beside him, thinking. I sighed. I told him that I totally understood his concerns. I said, “You know, there’s just not much we can do when it comes to how other people behave… We can’t make people choose to be good, ya know? But, what we can do, is control what we do, how we behave and treat others. We can choose to be kind. Ya know? And when you’re kind to others, you can help them heal. Because there are people out there who have already been hurt by other people and are suffering, and we just don’t know it. But if we’re just always kind, then we’ll be kind to them, and we might help them feel a little better. We might help them heal from those wounds, and help them regain a little faith in humanity.
“And you know, being kind can help those awful people change, too, because a lot of awful people are in pain. It’s not super likely that they’ll change, people don’t like to change, but sometimes, kindness can help inspire those folks to change.
“So, the best thing we can do, is to be kind. That doesn’t mean we let people walk all over us. You’ve gotta be careful, because there are those folks out there that’ll take your kindness and… ya know—“
“Exploit it,” he said knowingly.
“Exactly! … So set boundaries and tell people when they’ve gone too far, but even that can be done with kindness. Does that make you feel a little better?”
“Yes. It does.” He then immediately returned to his game. He just needed to know there was something he could do.
In the worst times of my life, it was the kindness, love and compassion of my husband, friends, family and strangers, that gave me strength. So heal the world a little, give someone strength, and just be kind.