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quote over yellow mandala - Loved people love people. - Anonymous

Where did you learn kindness?

Was it from your parents?  Perhaps a “kindly” grandparent.  Did you learn kindness in school or perhaps from a faith leader?

Who was the best role model on kindness for you?  Or perhaps you didn’t grow up around kindness and had to learn how to be it by yourself.

Sadly, there are millions of children around the world who have grown up in environments devoid of kindness and compassion.  Yet, despite their suffering, many have gone on to build lives of purpose and meaning.  Just think what they all may have become had they been loved first.

That brings me to the subject of today’s blog and this week’s challenge of practicing random acts of kindness towards children.

Many years ago I read a great little book compiled by Anita Roddick, the late activist and founder of The Body Shop.  The book is called A Revolution in Kindness and was published in 2003.  Thankfully, it is still in print.

Although a small enough book to read in one sitting, it packs a mighty punch and was instrumental in influencing many of the personal and professional philosophies that have come to define the way I live and work today.

In the book, Anita suggests that we redefine kindness and asks many questions, such as what would a society based on kindness look like?  Or what would the health system look like if it were kinder?  Depending on where you live or your socio-economic situation, I think many people can relate to these questions that were exacerbated by the pandemic.

Since this week’s random acts of kindness challenge is about children, this question from the book seems especially relevant – what would the world be like if we were kinder to our children?  

Young girl hugging a big horse

I believe that modeling kindness is best started early and in the home.  However, we can not discount the significant role that teachers and our education system have on molding young minds into well-adjusted “morally sensitive” human beings.

Teaching children kindness is about learning non-violent behaviour, respect, intuition, and compassion.  Kindness goes way beyond simply learning about manners.

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair,

but manifestations of strength and resolution.”  

Kahlil Gibran

purple robed monk hand feeding a goose beside a stream

Here are some great examples of random acts of kindness you can show your children or other children in your life:

  • Pack a little love note in your child’s lunch box or put it under their pillow.
  • Mail a letter or card to the child of a family member or friend who may be going through a tough time. Let them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Make an anonymous financial donation to a children’s charity in your community.
  • Make a financial donation to a children’s charity in your child’s name or in the name of a friend or family member’s child.
  • Take your children or grandchildren when you volunteer for a charity event or activity such as delivering food or sorting at a food bank.
  • Tell a friend or family member what you love about their children.
  • Surprise a busy mom you know with a home-cooked meal and some freshly baked cookies. Have your children help you make the food and deliver it.

All acts of kindness are important teaching opportunities for you and your children. For everything you do today will have a ripple effect, not only on your child’s life but ultimately on the lives of the next seven generations.

Remember it’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.

Kindness matters.

four teenage friends with arms around each other, sitting in a wheat field

Ever since I decided to write this post about teaching your children about kindness, the iconic song Teach Your Childrenwritten by Graham Nash and recorded by Crosby, Stills & Nash has stuck in my mind.  So, I just had to share the lyrics and the YouTube video with you.

Such a trip down memory lane of my all-time favourite band! Sing along if you know it!

Teach Your Children

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by.
And so become yourself,
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh,
And know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by.
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by.
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh, and know they love you.

~ written by Graham Nash

Remember, that to teach kindness, you must be kindness.  And that my friend is joyful living!

Love from your Joy Mama,

Gloria Stewart signature

P.S.    If you haven’t already read my book Being Joy™, it’s a simple 40-day practice of replacing old self-defeating beliefs with new empowering joy habits. As your vibrational frequency increases, you’ll not only experience more joy, but you’ll also be a beacon of hope for others who have forgotten their own joy.  Please join me on this important mission by ordering your copy today!

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Images courtesy of Pixabay.

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