Wednesday, January 26, 2011

finding kind.

my religion is kindness
my church is nature
my god is a feeling down deep inside
my job's to be conscious
my path is forgiveness
my religion is kindness
& i practice it every day.

~ lyrics by karen drucker ~

i spent much of my misspent youth
misspending time & energy toward
pursuing men i thought had the characteristics
i thought i desired in a lifelong mate.

smart. sexy. some swagger. maybe a little sardonicism.
able to retort to clever, entendre-laced banter in a single bound.
think bruce willis as david addison in "moonlighting."
[ooops . . . dating myself?
aw, go google it, whippersnappers.]

but i found my honey of a husband
once i finally figured out the one quality
i should have putting at the top of the list all along.


& my sweet man is utterly smart, sexy & way witty.
swagger? doesn't need it. sardonicism? nah, what for?
above all, he is kind.
to me. to our kids. to animals. to waiters. to homeless folks.
to everyone.
heck, he's even kind to republicans.
even republican in-laws.

& he has helped me realize how important
being a kind person really is.

so now we're working together
to raise kind children.

which brings me to the kind campaign,
originally introduced to me by my friend neva [thanks, neva],
who also has a daughter fresh to middle school.

the kind campaign is a documentary-turned-movement
based upon a powerful belief in kindness,
working to create awareness & healing of
the damaging & lasting impact of "girl-against-girl 'crime.'"

physical fighting,
power struggles,
gossip &
among girls.
& not just the proverbial "mean girls," but many girls.
not all girls, but many, many girls.

quoth documentarians & movement leaders
lauren parsekian & molly stroud,
"we aren't asking for everyone to become best friends;
that's simply unrealistic.
however, we are suggesting something very simple:
stop the competition,
stop the cattiness,
stop the hate,
& be kind."

you go, girls.
here's hoping our girls will follow.

image source: animal talk.

1 comment:

Susan K. Morrow said...

I was raised to be kind. One of the things that frustrated me was my mother's response to my complaint about someone, "Don't you feel sorry for so-and-so?" I hated that when I was little, because I just wanted to feel my feelings and not have to feel sorry for the person who said or did something that offended or disgusted me.

But I did grow up kind. And later, when my children were offended or disgusted, I didn't suggest that they feel anything, but I often felt sorry for the other person. I knew that the little girl who was nasty to them had something bad going on in her own life.

There was an incident with my daughter very shortly after my husband died. She wasn't quite 8 years old and she got in trouble at daycare for slapping another girl. The other girl's mother was furious and thought my daughter should be ejected. I knew that that mother was going through a divorce, and I felt for her. But I also felt so much for my daughter, whose father had just died, and whose mother was struggling just to put one foot in front of the other. The slap was not unprovoked either, and I'm sure the other girl was suffering with her own home situation.

I've had a tough year (or longer), and I have benefitted tremendously from the kindness of friends and family--and not a few strangers. I will spend the rest of my life paying all of that kindess back, and paying it forward.

Thanks, Mom, for helping me to see the other person's point of view.