Kindness Challenge: Grateful for Kindness Reflection

As I began this week I felt like I was already very aware of the simple ways that people were kind. I thought that most people in general were somewhat kind. But as I really went about my days throughout this week I began to notice more and more. Especially when I would be out and about with my son.

One thing that I found interesting was that I noticed that more men were kind to me that I had originally thought. I never realized how many times when I would be carrying my son into someplace where a man would hold the door open for me or let me go in first. One that really stuck out was when I was at the library we were half way to the door on the side walk and a guy that was walking past the door inside stopped to hold the door open for me. All of this really made me realize that there are still some really good men out there and that as a women I was somewhat disappointed about the way we tend to look out more for ourselves. Especially as mothers. It is almost like there is an unspoken thing that since I had to struggle when I was a mom that you should have to as well.

Realizing this I have become more aware of trying to help out other women and I am grateful to the ones that try to help me out or show me some kindness throughout my days. I have been trying to make a point to really show gratitude to someone that does help me as well in front of my son. I make sure I tell them thank you and give them a big smile. I am teaching him to say thank you as well. I want him to appreciate the help that we do get so that he will want to help others when he is a little bit older.

I know that I do struggle with making sure that I am showing gratitude toward receiving kindness. I appreciate it so much especially when little man is having a rough day and I am trying to get some errands done. Just having someone try to talk with him and smile at him to help keep him distracted is an amazing thing. A lot of times when people know that they are helping even in a small way it just makes everything better all around and can keep a good day from going bad.

Overall, as long as we are able to spread kindness throughout our days and be grateful for the kindness that we receive our days will be much brighter. And we always have to remember that little eyes are always watching how we respond to others and how we treat others (especially when moms interact with each other). Even if you do not have kids of your own, when you are out in public there are usually children around that everyone’s behavior and kindness is what is helping to shape this next generation.

I for one am trying to do my best to remember this and to live my life in kindness and awareness of others.

Kindness is not an act. It is a lifestyle. ~Anthony Douglas

Kindness Challenge: Kindness Without Expectation Reflection

There have been many times throughout my life where I have done kind things and have expected kindness in return. Times when I have helped out family and friends when they have needed it. Then I naturally expect them to be available when I might need help with something. I will say that a lot of times this expectation is met. When I have done something kind such as meeting up with a friend that needs to talk or help a friend out when they are moving, etc and I have not been met with the same type of kindness it does make me question that friendship a little bit. However, I have to remind myself that sometimes we do need to be kind without expectations because maybe that person just really needed me in that moment. I take comfort in the fact that when I am in need there will be a friend or family member there for me, it just might not be the same friend that I have already extended kindness to already. However, what you put out in the world will always come back to you in some form or another when you really need it.

I have noticed this week that a lot of times where I give kindness without expectation is in my day to day life. Simple things like holding a door open for someone or helping out a elderly neighbor do some yard work. These are the things that I have been raise to believe that you just do for others just because. There is no stigma attached, no expectation attached just being friendly and being human. These are the type of values that I want to teach my son. I want him to want to help out because we are all human and we all need to do our parts and help each other.

When I did things like hold a door open for someone it just makes me feel good. And I love it when my son wants to help me hold the door because that proves that I am teaching him this value already. We have also worked on leaving some extra pennies on the horse that kids can ride at the grocery store. He likes knowing that he is leaving a penny there for some other kid that might not have one that day and wants to ride. And maybe one day when we have forgotten our penny that same kindness will have been given from someone else so he might get to ride too.

Overall I think that people need to start trying to get back to some of the older values where people just help each other out no matter what. We have become a society that is so wrapped up in ourselves and what we can get out of all the little things that we do that our children are not being taught this simple thing. Even just something small that you can do for someone can brighten up their day. You never know what someone is going through in that moment.