Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Be a Cushion of Kindness

I'm savoring the memories of last week in Canada, where I joined in the celebration of my sister’s 70th birthday. And the shared kindness among family and friends was a prelude to our post today by author and speaker, Kare Anderson:

"Write injuries in sand, kindnesses in marble." ~ French proverb

Our media fans the fires of a "right-wrong" approach to escalating discussions. Linguist Deborah Tannen, Ph.D. describes this “let’s argue” style eloquently in her book, The Argument Culture. We get frozen in our differences, and may wind up feeling alone.

While many in our social and other media tend to highlight conflict-oriented stories, you can take a different course. Share the stories of authentic connection, comfort and collaboration in your conversations. By choosing where you put your energy and attention you cultivate and deepen feelings of empathy, not envy or enmity, in yourself and in others.

Whatever we praise, we cause to flourish.

In fact, looking back on life, what we most fondly remember might be, not what we accomplished, but the joy we shared along the way to those accomplishments. So here I'm sharing some of my favorite related quotes to stimulate a quiet Piped Piper-style "Kindness Campaign" in my life, and perhaps in yours.

We can choose, moment by moment, where to put our attention, emotion, and intention. "If you think you're too small to make a difference, you've obviously never been in bed with a mosquito," wrote Michelle Walker.

Kindness is often unspoken.

"The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines," wrote Charles Kuralt in On the Road with Charles Kuralt. "So many gods, so many creeds, So many paths that wind and wind, While just the art of being kind Is all the sad world needs," wrote poetess Ella Wheeler Wilcox in The World’s Need.

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate," wrote Albert Schweitzer. After all, the heart can be our strongest muscle if we exercise it regularly.

You can learn more about Kare and her work on her website, Say It Better. And mark December 19th on your calendar and look forward to our monthly Virtual Book Tour where Kare and her recently published book, Moving from Me to We, will be featured.

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