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Kindness offered

Kindness, is it taught or innate? I believe it is taught and this is great news.

Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

If you are as fortunate as I have been you know amazing women who epitomize kindness. Watching these ladies be graceful and generous in their words, with their gifts, and their perspective is such a lesson.

For these friends of mine, they have cultivated an outlook that is enviable.

I almost think that their eyes see different things than I do. When I see flaws, they offer compassion. When I want to be critical, they see perspective. When I dislike or despise, they offer goodness.

Do you believe that you can teach kindness?

It is often said we cannot teach what we do not know.

Start with you…begin the practice of grace with your words. Bite your tongue when criticism starts to leak out.

Consider being generous in your praise of others.

Everyone can use a boost and you can be the one to offer it.

Realize that you can appreciate the gifts another has and state it with sincerity.

Borrow the perspective that there is another way to look at a situation.

And your way is only one of the ways.

Being kind isn't hard, or is it? It can be a practice like most good habits. If it is a goal for you to model more kindness then it will take practice, not perfection.

If you know someone who seems to exemplify kindness, watch him or her. See how they respond with grace. See how they look for the positive. If you know them well, you may ask them how they do this. You may discover they don't say everything they think.

Certainly if your role models did not demonstrate kindness toward you it will be difficult to muster, not impossible, but harder than someone who was raised with kindness.

What about learning to be more kind yourself? I find this to be one of the bigger obstacles for many of the people I have seen over the years.

Once we are able to practice kindness toward ourselves and then toward others, we are a shining example to our children.

As usual, it starts with us.

If you have found this to be difficult to read or perhaps you know there is something in the way of your being able to practice this, speak to a trusted friend, pastor,

mentor or therapist.

For further reading on the topic, check out

Making Caring Common Project from Harvard,

Richard Weissbourd

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