Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kindness Begins With ...

My kids and I have a random, impromptu tradition around here. Oftentimes in the morning before school we will sit in the front room waiting until it is time to leave for the bus, and I will play on the piano my favorite Primary (children's Sunday School) song, "Kindness begins with me."

"I want to be kind to everyone,
For that is right you see.
So I say to myself, remember this.
Kindness begins with me."

As we get to the last line of the song, I wave my arm dramatically in the air. (I know, I know I am a great multi-tasker--I can play the piano with one arm while waving my other arm in the air.) After waving dramatically for the last line, "Kindness begins with..." at the very last word I point at someone and we all say, their name. Of course I then obsessively think we need to sing it for every person in the room, so no one thinks they are excused from being kind that day. Except we never sing it with my name at the end...

Being kind to others is a HUGE repeated over and over lecture I give to my kids nearly every day. In fact that was one of the reasons we chose the word "LOVE" for our school year motto. You can read about that HERE.

Somewhere between lectures to my children, lessons in Family Home Evening and the one handwritten "L-O-V-E" sign on our fridge. Someone has forgotten to internalize the message herself.
I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that person is me.

Saturday morning I worked my regular Saturday morning shift at the Bountiful Temple. For over 7 years I have worked my shift alongside a lady who has become a dear friend. But this last Saturday I was alone. Without the distractions of chatting with someone, I had a lot of time alone to think. Being the very last day of 2011, and with the quietness around me, my thinking went a lot deeper than usual.

My thoughts immediately turned to an interaction I had just had moments before with someone that made me think, "I can't wait to tell Mike about this and of course Joni will die laughing when I tell her." (Joni being my friend who was absent for our shift.)

Here I was at the temple of all places and I was in a sense inwardly mocking someone. And that my friends is what got my thinking deeper.

Sometimes I'm just not a nice person.
I allow myself to be irritated, annoyed, bugged and humored by people.

I work with a lot of people in a lot of different circumstances; school, temple, PTA, Power of Moms, church callings, blogging, neighborhood, business associations, family, friends, etc. In nearly every situation, I am again ashamed to admit I could come up with people that plain and simply annoy me.

There are family members I'd like to disown somedays.
There are Primary kids I occasionally wish I could smack.
There are women I don't feel like I can trust.
There are strangers I wish I could growl at.
There are neighbors who sometimes annoy me.
There are friends I at times want to kick in the rear.

And guess what!? I KNOW I am guilty of plenty of infractions of my own. But still, I have no excuse.

Too often I am rude, inpatient, judgmental, and plain unkind. Add to it that I'm a fairly HONEST person and rarely can I smile and "Pretend-I-like-you-and-want-to-be-with-you-when-really-I-DON'T!"

Something's gotta change.

And that my friends is the long drawn out thinking behind my simple New Year's Resolution. I'm not one to make big lofty goals in January. (Not sure what that says about me!?) In fact last year I simply decided to laugh more. Wait, that was the year before. Last year's was to relax more. (Yeah-didn't go so well did it?)

This year I would say my goal is to "Love MORE" but really, I think I just need to start with the basics and learn to "love". Hopefully the "more" part will come later.

Phewww-how's that for honesty? Wonder how many people I've offended wondering if they are the ones I haven't been loving much!?! Not to worry though. I'm going to be loving you all now!

Happy New Year!


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