Random acts of kindness are part of the Mamaste Challenge, because no matter what, everyone could use more kindness. Be it big or small, planned or spontaneous, make it a point to spread some kindness today in whatever way you choose. Need some suggestions? I've got those too...
The other day on facebook I posted about an experience we had during trick or treating. Jack, my four year old, loves to run with the older kids, and he is always trying to catch up with his big brother. Trick or treating was no exception. In his little skeleton jammies costume he was running up and down those driveways, occasionally yelling ahead for the older kids to "Wait up!", it was so cute, and he was having a ball. He would take quick breaks to show me how much candy he had gotten, showing it off to his brother and sister, so proud that he was trick or treating with the big kids. And it was no small feat to keep up with that pack, with everyone hopped up on sugar and the excitement of Halloween the mob of neighborhood kids moved fast from house to house, stopping for nothing.
Then Jack tripped going up a driveway and spilled the entire contents of his nearly full bucket all over a lawn. In the dark. My immediate reaction was to rush over and help him pick it up, I could hear him yell out "Oh no! My candy!" and start to frantically grab at the pieces in the long grass, but before I could get to him the kids noticed something was wrong and within moments they were on the grass, shining their flashlights, helping him pick up every single piece. "Here Jack" and "Don't worry buddy", they said, soothing him as he had started to cry, patting him on his little back.
Almost all the candy had been found and the kids started to get back to the business at hand but there was one thing missing, "My eraser!" said Jack through his sniffling. A boy named Max had stayed behind and was still helping him search for it, and I watched as he carefully scanned the dark grass and finally found this teeny tiny pumpkin eraser, no bigger than a dime, and handed it to Jack, "Here you go buddy" he said, and Jack beamed, tossed it back into his bucket, and together they ran up to the next house to join the group.
Now, to most of the parents there that night, it might not have meant as much, but it almost brought me to tears (okay it sort of actually did, I'm a big mushball I have no shame) to see all these kids, most of them years older than Jack, stop what they were doing to help him and to soothe him. They wanted to make sure everyone was included and having a good time. It was so sweet and it made me feel so good and so loved that in our neighborhood these kids were kind, the way it should be. And I thought to myself, "Good job, parents", because they had helped teach these kids how to be kind.
Now, I've done these types of posts before, urging everyone to do something kind, and they usually include some suggestions like "Pay for someone's coffee at the drive thru" or "Bake cookies for a neighbor", but the thing is, we don't really need suggestions, do we? We know how to be kind. We know what kindness means. We need to just DO. IT.
Just take it upon yourself to commit to kindness, and do it. Don't make some elaborate plan, do it right now. Text someone you love and tell them how much they mean to you. Call your grandmother. Smile at a stranger. Thank someone for a kindness they did for you. These are easy, but do we do them all the time? Not really.
Do these things with your kids. Teach them how to be kind. Tell them how sometimes doing the kind thing means waiting behind searching for a mini eraser in the grass in the dark and the cold while your friends run ahead to get more candy. Show them how you make the choice to be kind. So don't overthink it. Just do it. Today. xoxo