Breeze has plenty of great insights here, but namely it's her statement about kindness in the little things that really struck me. Many consider being kind to others or even to oneself as a big to-do; that for us to be truly "nice" there must be whole pomp and circumstance behind it. Breeze reminds us it isn't so, and I know I'm better for it for heeding her advice.
Tells us the kindest thing you’ve ever experienced as a parent.
I gave birth to my middle daughter 5 weeks early. When she was born she was only 3 lbs 15 oz. I felt very scared and lost at the time. I was so thankful to be surrounded by many nurses who sat next to my bed to answer all of my questions and ease my mind. They did things they didn't have to like helping me brush my tangled hair because I was too weak after complications and surgery. When I returned home they wrote me letters and encouraged me. Their kindness touched me and even now, as I reflect back, my heart is thankful that they reached out to a scared mother, a patient, a stranger.
Who/what inspires you to be kind? Explain why they/it inspires you to do so
My husband--I have never met anyone who is as kind as he is. This was something that impressed me when we were dating, but I had no idea how truly valuable this quality would be in a marriage. He always looks for the good in others and even almost 10 years later he deals kindly with me no matter the circumstance. He is kind to his parents, his children, his friends, and anyone he meets. I have admired and tried to imitate him; he inspires me.
It’s important to be kind to others, but it’s just as important to be kind to yourself. What do you do (or plan on doing) to be kind to yourself (either as a mother, as a professional, or as a woman)?
This is one of the hardest things for me to do; even now I struggle to be kind to myself. My love language is acts of service, I am constantly doing things for others, because that's how I show love. This can be wonderful for those around me, but often times I forget about myself. That's where my daily walks come in. This is something I started 6 months ago. Every evening before or after dinner, I take a walk--just me, myself and I. This is my time, not only to get some exercise but also a time for me to think and reflect. I am able to gather my thoughts without distractions and interruptions. I get to admire the beautiful world around me and stop to appreciate the small things like sunsets, birds and trees. This is healing and healthy for me!
It’s often said that kindness is easier said than done. As a parent, what valuable advice can you give for showing kindness to others (especially to those who may not seem like they want or deserve it)?
Kindness means that we are generous and considerate to others. One way we can do this (especially to those who may not deserve it) is to put ourselves in their shoes. This is something I try very hard to teach my children. It is normally easier to show kindness to someone once we think like they think or feel what they feel. Perhaps they are misunderstood, alone or scared. If we were to stop and think about this, it would be much easier to be kind to them.
As a parent, what does kindness mean to you?
To me kindness is not just ONE grand gesture; it's a daily ongoing quality that we show to others. It's holding open doors, saying thank you and giving compliments. It's making sure that we don't raise our voice or get impatient with others. It is something we must do daily. We should always lead with kindness, no matter the circumstance.
What lesson do you want your kids to learn about kindness?
I want them to see the value in it. That one kind act can go a long way that relationships built on kindness last longer. When they are kind to their employers and co-workers they will experience a happier workplace. There are so many ways in which kindness will have a positive effect on their life.