Pay Attention To Kindness
I realized today that I had unconsciously modified this exercise for myself. In theory I should be looking out for kindnesses both from others and from myself, but somewhere along the way I stopped noticing my own kindness and became entirely focused on the kindness of others. It feels self-aggrandizing, I suppose, to note my own kindness; and yet that’s an important part of this work.
So today I tried to find a kindness on my part to match each one I saw from someone else, not as a contest, but just as a way to re-frame my actions. As a parent, much of the care-giving I do could be classified as acts of kindness, but only if I think of it that way. I can just as easily classify it as “obligatory work.” It seems clear which of those perspectives will better nurture myself and my children.
Some example from today:
- My younger son let his sister sit with him and watch a computer game he was playing. This was particularly generous of him because two-year-olds are not always convenient near computers.
- I helped my older son make cookies, and, when we needed an ingredient, walked to the store for it.
- My best friend offered to take care of an errand for me tomorrow, which will make my schedule much less difficult.
- I gave my two-year-old a ride in a wagon when she really wanted it, even though I had been in the middle of something.