A few weeks ago, I heard about a young man who had been bullied at school. Afterwards, he went home and committed suicide. Appalling…yes. Sad…yes. Shocking…no. Unfortunately, this story gets repeated over and over in various parts of our country. Has there been a significant lack of kindness given to the children who are bullies? I don’t know. While we cannot solve this insidious epidemic, we can, in some small way, give the gift of kindness to our children and hope they will learn to pass it on.
Every day, we are given several opportunities to give the gift of kindness to others. It may only be to those in our immediate family, but it will still make a significant impact in the world. Each time you give this gift to your children, you are building a reservoir of kindness in them. Hopefully, when they go out into the world and interact with others, they will share this gift with others.
Is this gift costly? Yes, but not in the material sense. This gift will cost you some of your most precious commodity, time. In order to give this gift, we each must slow down, if only for a few seconds in order to give it away. We must also be intentional, and know that every time we give this gift, we have added to another’s life.
Is this gift showy? No, it is the quietest of all gifts. It is one you can quietly give to your children in the privacy of your home. You can also model it when you are in public and teach them how to interact with others. You can smile at a grocery clerk and ask him or her how their day is going instead of just staring at them and hoping they check you out at the fastest possible speed. You can welcome a new family into your neighborhood and be kind to them, without regard to their race, color or ethnic background. You can help someone with a disability and make their life easier in some small way.
Is the gift rewarding? Absolutely! When we see our children give this gift to others, we know we have succeeded in some small way by helping them learn the value of this precious gift.