We are about to embark on the season of charity.
We are compelled to feed the hungry and help the needy. Rightly so. To those of us who have been blessed it is only right to pass it on. There will be extraordinary acts of kindness and giving reported everywhere. We may even be a recipient of a free coffee in the drive through line by someone who generously started a random act of kindness.
It is fabulous to witness it all when we live in a world where there is so much ugliness brought to life on a regular basis.
However, the holidays can be stressful for even the most die hard festive reveler. Unfortunately most of us unleash the side effects of this stress on the ones we love the most.
Your husband or wife starts losing their mind over something so insignificant they can’t even remember what it was five minutes later (don’t ask me how I know this). Maybe your child just has what seems like scheduled melt downs over things like their food overlapping on their plate or that their sibling is threatening to hug them. or their friend has the same color shirt they do. All of this has a tendency to occur simultaneously and usually when you need to be somewhere. It all ends in the best of worlds with everyone counting to ten (or a million) or in the worst, a cold war.The people we love deserve our kindness the most. Click To Tweet
Let’s remember that the people we love deserve our kindness the most. They do, after all, put up with us in all our forms of crazy. (Don’t even try to convince me that you don’t have your moments)
So let’s practice our Random Acts of Kindness before we leave our house.
This doesn’t have to be anything dramatic:
- Make a cup of tea
- Help clean up a mess
- Take something off their chore list
- Help unload the groceries
- Don’t make a snarky comment when they forget to do something
- Tell them how much they are appreciated (and why)
- Thank them when they do something to make your life easier (even if they were supposed to)
- Give a hug
The results may surprise us.
If we can master the walls of our house, we can expand the definition of ‘home’ to include our extended families. Maybe they don’t deserve our kindness as much (after all, the holidays accentuate the levels of family dysfunction, do they not?) but maybe it’s something they need and aren’t willing to bring up in conversation. After all, your notoriously drunk uncle isn’t going to disclose that he is in desperate need of a ray of sunshine while he is downing another beer at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Your crazy, cranky, overly critical granny can’t really voice her opinions about feeling ignored and left out so she continues to get crankier.
So maybe we just make a series of small efforts to show a little extra kindness to those we are celebrating with this holiday season. Honestly, this is going to be way harder than performing Random Acts of Kindness on the street. There aren’t any emotional connections with strangers out in the world. We never have to see them again and their opinions of us don’t matter. We have no history of slights and faux pas and personal disputes with them.
People closer to us have the ability to not accept our kindness or even out right reject us. That can invite a little bit of disappointment and pain. The question is do we have enough courage to put ourselves out there for the people closest to us?
How will you bestow kindness to those you love?