Monday, May 4, 2009

Beautiful Like Me: Kindness

Today I am posting for the Beautiful Like Me Project, a project dedicated to raising awareness about the lack of self-esteem and poor body image in today's youth. We are inviting anyone and everyone to please join us in spreading the word. Please feel free to join in anytime. Also please take a minute to see the other Beautiful Like Me Posters (listed below)! Together we can help today's youth have a positive self-image!

This weeks topic is:
"What features/qualities would we like today’s children to see as beautiful?"


I have been racking my brain ... when I first ran this question through my head 'kindness' came up but then I kept thinking this was just too simple, there had to be more so for two weeks I have been posing this question to myself and here I am Monday morning (I should have this already posted) and this is what I've come up with, kindness!

There is the old saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", I think this is true when it comes to qualities we see within people. We seek different qualities in people for many reasons, maybe where we are in our life, what we like to do, what role this person plays in our lives, etc... so I think it is very difficult (for me) to list specific qualities that are beautiful. I think that more a respect for individuality is important.

But as I said kindness just kept popping into my head! I think that if there is one quality that is beautiful in many, maybe any way shape or form it is kindness. Something that I also believe is lacking in our society today. It is funny to me because I think it can be so easy to be kind ... it is a very simple act, but we seem to be out of the habit (or at least some of us). It seems we have become so wrapped up in being "the best", "the first", "bigger and better" that we have forgot the simplest of things: KINDNESS! I also think that in these days of technology we have taken the personal feelings out of being kind. It seems that I do not get the same warm fuzzy feeling from a forwarded twenty times email than I do from just a quick personal note of well wishes. We have become lazy as a society and therefore our children are not learning about simple acts of kindness.

Okay, so I feel as if I am just rambling about kindness and not really making any particular points ... as I sit here typing I can feel what I want to express but I am struggling to find the words to make it leap out into your heart!

For me kindness can be so simple, I think we sometimes believe that in order to make a difference we have to do great deeds and honestly who has the time BUT what I have found is that sometimes it is the simplest thing ... a smile to someone at the grocery store, an understanding about a mistake made, a quick note, a simple task ... sometimes these things can change the course of someones day and maybe even life.

Think about your last trip to the grocery store (not my favorite place to go but a great place to be kind). I was there just the other night, it was early evening, there were many people most probably just getting out of a long day of work, it was raining, many toting tired, hungry children ... matter-a-fact there was a lady in line behind me that had a basket load of groceries, two children that were not pleased about shopping and mom look frazzled. I assessed my situation ... I had my teenager and littlest one, Dan was home cooking dinner, I was in no hurry! So I offered that she go in front of me. She looked puzzled (She clearly had more items then me) and said it was okay BUT I smiled and offered again, assuring her that I was in no hurry and that I understood how shopping with kids can be tough as I have several more at home!! Funny I could see her tension easing, she smiled and started to unload her groceries, I smiled and played peek a boo with one of her children and the other wanted to see 'the baby'! In just a few short minutes she was checked out and on her way ... with a great smile she turned and thanked me, I smiled and said no problem. As she left I hoped that maybe the rest of her evening would go just as well. Yes, I felt proud (goes to show that kindness can be beneficial for everyone) and my daughter observed a moment of kindness (YEAH), and maybe it changed the course of a frazzled moms day (even if for a moment)! Such a win-win situation.

So for me I think that kindness is the most BEAUTIFUL quality any person can possess. What is great is this is a quality that can be taught so lets get out there and make a difference ... be kind! I personally am taking great care to teach my children about kindness, to themselves, to their families and friends and to strangers! If we all were simply kind to one another our world would be a much more pleasant place.

I am feeling very sporadic today, so if you are leaving this post wondering: "huh?" I am not surprised and I apologize. So I will sum it up KINDNESS is BEAUTIFUL, so be kind and teach kindness!!!

In addition to myself check out who else has committed to this project, I will be adding as people post:

My Co-hosts: WickedStepMom and Tricia at Shout

Cate at Nature's Child
Danielle at Boys R Us
Lisa P at Use Your Wisdom
Sprite's Keeper
Mamma Miller at Miller Memories
Wandering Saffa Chick

Please join us anytime, if you post leave a message with your link and I will add you to my list! Together we can make a difference, each story told touches someones life!

Here you can look at past Beautiful Like Me Posts!

Here is our topic for the next Beautiful Like Me Post and you can always go to the Project Main Page for a list of topics and other information.

Next post scheduled for Monday, May 18th
In your opinion, what is the best way to build self-esteem?


Cate said...

What a touching example of kindness, Amy! Sheesh, If everyone could do just a little, it'd make a BIG difference. I'm so glad your daughter got to be a part of that moment. You are truly showing her beauty in the world!

Tricia said...

You just happen to be the kindest person I know, no joke. And you happen to be right, in my humble opinion. The tiniest acts of kindness can have the biggest, longest lasting results, for us and for others. You're also right that it FEELS GOOD to be kind, much better than it feels we we're unkind, that's for sure. I loved your grocery store story.

Lisa P said...

Amy, I know exactly what you mean about feeling what you want to say, but struggling with the words. There is something about this project that does the same thing to me!

I love your take on kindness. It can definitely be a simple thing, and yet it feels so awkward and foreign at times. We're the ones who have made it that way.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

what a BEAUTIFUL post and I couldn't agree more - I am always saying to my hubbie- BE NICE!!!!!!!

Wicked Step Mom said...

Kindness is so beautiful! I am glad that you had an opportunity to show your own children what a difference a little kindness can make.

Momma Miller said...

Oh I loved your grocery story. It's amazing how much a difference a single act of kindness can do. It affects far more than the one person who witnessed it.

By the way, I'm in this week. I was late in posting, but here nonetheless:

Sprite's Keeper said...

Your example of kindness is truly inspiring! I know I need to show more kindness in patience. I start off so kind, but if I start losing patience, the kindness quickly falls as well. Great example!

Mon said...

A lovely rambling post lol

Kindness IS simple, and it IS the simple things we need to cultivate in our children. We get so caught up with achievements and successes instead.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Kindness is so important--and what a great example you gave. Your kids will learn so much from that.