Saturday, January 25, 2014

I dare you.

This is for my lovely daughter.

Sometimes people do really hurtful, thoughtless things. Underscore the really. Your job is to forgive them.

Why? Because you can't control others. You are only responsible for you. And someday, you will do something unfortunate and thoughtless, and you will need forgiving. Besides, hurts fester. Let go of them. As fast as possible. It's hard but I know you can do this because you are lovely and forgiving.

Repay an unkind act not with revenge but with kindness. You may never know what prompted that unkindness. You being kind in return will serve two purposes; you are reminding them what kind is and you are letting go of unkind. No one needs to carry around unkind. And when you repay unkind with kind, something amazing happens. It's over. Why do this? Because you are still you and you are lovely and kind.

Once someone has been unkind, give them a second chance. It's okay. You might just get a big surprise. You also might be disappointed. And you know what? That is also okay. Why? Because you are still you and you are lovely and you are full of second chances.

I know this because YOU taught me this. When you were a little baby and I was tired, overwhelmed, and cranky, you would do something amazing. You would go to sleep and wake up smiling. Ready to love me all over again. Crazy. Keep doing that. It's probably the most amazing thing about you.

Empathy and kindness are two things that are often in short supply. People forget. They're too busy. Too tired. Too lazy. Try hard not to be too busy or forgetful to think about how you've made someone else feel. If you can remember this, then when something unfortunate has happened to you, you will still be you and you are truly lovely.

Parents need to teach kind. It's possible. Try it. Even today. Even in a selfish world. Be part of the solution. There are thousands of opportunities to teach kind. Everyday. Everywhere.

Parents teach kids to be flexible even when they don't want to be- by being flexible. Show your child there are many creative solutions to problems.

Teaching kind would eliminate a whole bunch of problems. Kind kids and adults don't bully. Kind adults leave you a quart of milk when you've been away for a week, or listen to you as you fire off a Tourette's like series of expletives as you vent. Without kind kids, you will have miserable adults.

It's not the school's job to teach kind. Kind starts at home. Picking up your baby when she's crying. Taking your kid to the movies when he's been dumped. Buying extra presents at Christmas for kids who won't get any. Bringing a piece of pie to a neighbor. Start anywhere you want. But you can't stop.

It's not one lesson. And everyone at some point, needs some help pulling off a kind gesture when they just don't feel like it.

Be kind. Throw the word around. Overuse it. I dare you.


  1. Jen, this is beautiful, profound, and the epitome of Wisdom. I hope all works out well... Pearl

  2. How beautiful. I love this. Will now have to find a share button to share this!


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