In the same way our attitudes are sticky; the way we treat each other at home has a lasting effect that will permeate classrooms and work environments, every place we come in contact with other people. Joseph B. Wirthlin said, "Kindness is the essence of a celestial life. Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others. Kindness should permeate all of our words and actions at work, at school, at church, and especially in our homes." (General Conference, April 2005, The Virtue of Kindness.)
As mothers, we "are primarily responsible for the nurture of [our] children" and as such we often set the tone in our home. Which makes the phrase "kindness begins with me" something I know I need to take to heart, but it isn't just applicable to moms. Kindness is an important virtue for everyone in the family. Some days being kind is easier than others, but there are three habits I have learned that help me to be more kind to those around me:
First, slow down. When I am in a hurry it is difficult to take the time to be kind. I am rushed and brisk with my family and I don't notice the needs of those around me. I try not to over schedule and to allow extra time for the unexpected but sometimes this isn't possible, and sometimes I just have to decide what matters most and let the other things go. We can be busy without feeling rushed; I find that if I stop during those busy times and take a moment to clear my head I can chase away that stressful hurried feeling, often that pause involves a prayer.
This third habit I find helpful is just that, make kindness a habit. Practice kindness every day. Return someone's shopping cart; compliment a friend, leave a quarter in the vending machine...Just do something every single day, and then do a lot of somethings. Soon being kind becomes part of your nature.
We all know that person that makes us feel amazing--be that person. "May we be models of kindness. May we ever live up to the words of the Savior; 'By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
Be sure to check out Cranial Hiccups today for another post on the Family Proclamation.
The author of this post is a creator of all things lovely and of good report, with an eye for beauty, and a heart of gold. She is also my sister-in-law Somer Christensen!