Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kill 'Em With Kindness

Ayden woke up early (around 7) so it was a two nap kind of day.
One nap on the way to story time and another on the way home.
Since we have moved out to the farm, Ayden and I have lunch dates after story time. We usually hit up Whole Foods for our weekly grocery shopping, so we just grab lunch from the salad or hot bar before we shop. I used to just hold Ayden with one arm while filling our cardboard boxes with deliciousness and then purchasing said deliciousness. Now we have to go ahead and get our cart because our boy is finally getting heavy! So there we were today, enjoying each other's company and getting ready to enjoy some yummy food. I grabbed a high chair with one hand and was steering the cart with Ayden and our lunches in it. We were headed to an empty table when I accidentally bumped the back of a little old lady's chair with the high chair. I said, "Oh, I'm so sorry!" And if she didn't respond with the meanest scowl I have ever seen. You would have thought I flipped all of her food onto the floor or somehing. I was shocked that she looked at this young mother, hands full with an adorable smiley baby, a high chair and big shopping cart and couldn't give me a break for tapping her CHAIR with the high chair. In the seconds that followed after I registered her scowl I considered my options. I had two choices: 1) scowl back or make some snide remark like, "Do you have something you'd like to say to me??" Or "I suppose you've NEVER accidentally tapped someone else while passing them before?" Or 2) be the most positive and enthusiastic person I know.

I decided that #2 would be best for everyone involved. Best for the lady who might have just been having a bad day. Best for myself so I could leave knowing that I didn't fuel any fires with toxic, contagious negativity. Best for Ayden who can grow up having love and kindness modeled for him, even in cases when it may not seem deserved. And best for anyone else who may be witnessing the event unfold so that maybe next time it happens to them, they will choose a road of love and kindness themselves. After taking a few seconds to think about it and making my decision I said, "My, your earrings are really beautiful." And walked on my way without really waiting for a response. I got Ayden set up with his placemat and yummy lunch and we got on with the rest of our day, just like that.

It is amazing to me, the way we coexist with one another, going through the motions. I myself am guilty of going through an entire day without giving the fact that those around me are PEOPLE, just like me, a second thought. Everyone has their own stressors and pet peeves. Everyone has their own sources of happiness and their own passions. As an introverted individual, it is very easy for me to stay on the side lines as a quiet observer while the rest of the world hustles and bustles around me. I have been challenging myself more and more lately to ask a personal question (within reason, of course) to anyone who might strike up a conversation. Or to say a compliment out loud that I previously would have just kept to myself. Telling someone that their eyes are pretty for instance. Who knows, perhaps our brief encounter will have made their day and then they will feel compelled to pay it forward.

In a world full of toxic gossip, drama and negativity, I want to challenge myself to keep love and positivity alive! I want our son to grow up knowing that there is good in the world and also that he can be a source of it. I wish nothing more than for everyone, every single person, to truly KNOW happiness and we can all make that difference, one compliment at a time.

I challenge you to say something nice to a stranger today, even if they don't seem to deserve it. Chances are, they are the folks that need it the most.

Talk about enthusiastic!
The world is our playground :)


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