Examples of compassion are everywhere. Show kindness, be compassionate, become a change maker with actionable items. Be the real deal with this magic formula.
Right before my 35th birthday … I began to write for someone else.
Right before my 36th birthday … I gifted myself this blog, a place to write for myself, a place to stand on my own.
Right before my 37th birthday … I saw how much that gift meant, still means. I realized I could write out loud. I told others that they should, too.
Right before my 38th birthday … I began writing for other outlets. Taking chances. Letting more people see my words. Learning how to take their feedback in. Forming a tougher skin, a new perspective—don’t read the comments, that’s not part of this gig.
Actually, that’s a lie. The tougher skin part, that is.
Earlier this year, at right about 38 and a half, I wrote an article about marriage and the comments that came in on it were about my weight. I didn’t slip on the tougher skin or the new perspective. I got sad.
Because that’s what happens when people are unkind.
A few months later, I edged closer to 39, and I wrote about the experience. I stood up for myself and for kindness and I said something really obvious: Be kind online. That article went viral.
And then I wasn’t by myself anymore.
Once I spoke up, people magnet-ed to my side. I received emails and notes and texts and letters all saying variations of the same three things I’m sorry you were sad; I believe in kindness, too; What can we do?
This is what compassion is. It’s feeling someone else’s pain or hurt or sadness and wanting to do something about it.
It’s why mothers of tweens and teens still sway when they hear another mother’s baby cry.
It’s why we offer to hold that baby and give her mom a break.
It’s why we buy bread for the person ahead of us in line because they forgot their wallet or ran out of cash and it’s why we buy coffee for the person behind us in line to let them know they’re not alone, that this world is kind.
It’s why we speak up for ourselves and for others.
When everything happened this fall, it was that What can we do? question that stuck to my ribs. What could I possibly do?
Soon after, when my girls hinted that they’d like to post, tweet, and share photos on Instagram, I took a look at social media with new eyes–mom eyes. And suddenly I wasn’t just seeing unkindness that could happen to me, I was seeing unkindness that could happen to my kids, and to yours.
So I took to my pen again I and wrote (and wrote and wrote) a book about the conversations we need to have with our kids–and with each other–to teach our kids how to be kind online.
I found my “what can I do.”
My book is called Kindness Wins and it covers ten habits to directly teach kids as they’re learning how to be kind online.
I believe with every fiber of my being that our kids can do this. They can be the change we all know we need to see, and to feel.
A small publisher took Kindness Wins (and me) on and the fact that it happens to be available for pre-sale less than a week before my 39th birthday and on the same day that 1000 bloggers are writing for compassion, well that can’t be a coincidence, can it?
Because Kindness + Action = Compassion.
That’s what this movement, and my book are both about.
So right before my 39th birthday … This is what I’m choosing.
Speak up when you see something unkind.
Listen when someone else speaks up.
Learn to look at things from other people’s perspectives.
Do this before you speak, and before you post.
Train your eyes and your heart to notice if someone else is hurting.
And listen to that stick-to-your-ribs voice that’s telling you to do something.
Tell other people what you’re doing.
And the ones who magnet to you, keep them close.
Because together we can choose to not just let kindness win, but to ensure that it does. #kindnesswins #1000Speak
You guys, a book! About kindness! Written by me! I’m over the moon to show you my cover, my words, my work, my heart. Please take a look. It’s officially on pre-SALE today at a discounted price (It will stay at this price until just a ‘lil bit after its official release date, April 7th.). Start here: Kindness Wins.
To write about compassion, to flood our online world with goodness, and to find other like-minded people, join the voices of #1000Speak. You can write anything you want about kindness, about compassion, about action, and link it up, read the others, spread the love. Yvonne Spence is the BrainHeart behind this movement. Join her and the 1000+ who are doing the same. Start here: 1000 Speak.
For a reminder why this topic is timelessly important, read my friend Kristin Shaw’s article, “Does kindness matter? (My grandmother’s legacy of love).” Kristin shares the wisdom passed down from her grandmother to her mother to her and, now, to her young son. Her words are breath taking, and inspiring. Start here: It’s nice to be nice.
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