by: Rita Duponty
Would you want to live in a world without kindness? I wouldn’t. It would be a cold heartless place to live. Fortunately, there are many acts of kindness that surround us daily. Some acts of kindness might be a person offering their seat to an older person on public transportation; or, it may be as simple as a helping hand to someone who has just fallen.
Although many have been raised to show kindness in both words and action, others are oblivious to its power. With the difficult economic crunch and families dealing with their own unique set of problems, kindness may be overlooked. Traumatic events like school shootings and suicides resulting from bullying* show the reality of being more diligent in understanding and recognizing the feelings and needs of other people. Is your child a victim of bullying? Or, is your child the bully? It is important that our children have respect for others different than themselves. Do your children kindly treat others that speak a different language, dress differently, or even come from another culture?
The benefits of showing kindness are too numerous to mention. I’m sure you could come up with many more. Here are just a few:
- According to the book, Healing Power of Doing Good (authors: Allen
Luks & Peggy Payne), a person may have a greater sense of calmness
and relaxation which in turn may ease pain such as headaches and
- Better relationships both inside and outside the family arrangement.
- May create a more peaceful atmosphere.
- Showing kindness may save your life. Use your power of reason on
- Oh, it just makes you feel good!
How can we demonstrate kindness? By being observant of others needs, you can seize opportunities to show kindness. Is there someone you know that lives alone and could use a cheerful phone call? Could you be a sympathetic listener to someone having a bad day? What about showing personal interest to the cashier that checks out your groceries? Do you thank him or her and ask them how their day is going? Although these may seem like insignificant things—they are not. If you don’t believe me, just ask a cashier how her customers have been treating her today? You might be surprised at her answer.
Most importantly, parents can start early in teaching their children to think of others. For instance, recently while I was sick, I received a gift from a six-year-old little girl. I was so impressed by her thoughtfulness. Knowing her mother, I would venture to say that the little girl learned from her mother’s example to be kind and thoughtful. Unfortunately, too many times parents themselves do not set the proper example. For instance, do you as a parent make fun of someone due to their weight, race, economic background, or age? Do you verbalize this in front of your children? It is your example that children will imitate. Make it a good one!
Yes, the power of kindness is great. Teach your children early in life to be respectful and to show kindness whenever possible. They will reap great rewards. In some cases, it may even save their life.
*Statistics show 77% of children are bullied. This would include physically, verbally, or mentally.