How it began…

Being kind isn’t always easy, but it should be. When my nieces and nephew (an eight year old girl and six year old boy/girl twins) were at my house this summer, I noticed that they had a hard time always being to kind to each other. I know, shocker! Sometimes it’s hard to be nice to your siblings. I get it, I have an older brother and sister and we weren’t always kind to each other when we were growing up. Being a special education teacher early in my career made me acutely aware of how mean kids can be, especially to anyone who might be perceived as different. Kindness, honesty and personal responsibility were a HUGE part of my classroom…and my life. What I was trying to do with my nieces/nephew was to bring awareness to how often the kids were being unkind to each other, so I told them that whenever they were mean to each other they needed to say (or at least think) “I’m kinder than that”. What happened next changed MY life. The kids started using the phrase  (although I still haven’t converted the oldest)…but I was the one who was actually benefitting from it the most. Suddenly I realized how often I was annoyed by people, or judging them, or becoming aggravated by the simplest thing. Standing in line at the grocery store I would be irrationally upset with the 80 year old woman taking forever while she was writing a check – I mean, who writes checks? You know who writes checks? 80 year old women do when they are grocery shopping. And that’s absolutely ok. But I would find myself being SO irritated. THEN, I decided to start saying, “I’m kinder than that” every time something like this happened. IT TOTALLY WORKED. I would catch myself being annoyed, take a breath, and say “I’m kinder than that”.  I would remember (like with the woman at the grocery store) that I have older parents and I’d try to understand where she was coming from…which would be a time where you wrote a check for your groceries. I started having these epiphanies all over the place. I came to the conclusion that it isn’t always about ME, MY TIME and MY OPINION. I would be walking down the street and think “look at that awful dress” on a random person, and then a light bulb would go off and I’d think,  “Im kinder than that”. I would ask myself, “who am I to judge that dress?” Most frequently I would catch myself needing to say it in the car, where I am in a constant state of aggravation, and being much more relaxed behind the wheel (which isn’t easy to do in LA and SF). In the last several months I have become a much kinder person…because I take notice of when I am NOT being kind and I own it (which I didn’t do before). Giving people compliments, understanding that just because someone has a different opinion doesn’t make them a BAD person, and being an overall nicer version of myself is really refreshing. I wake up in the morning and think that every day is chance to be kinder. #imkinderthanthat

7 thoughts on “How it began…

  1. AnnMarie is a co worker of mine. I work in a kindergarten classroom. Daily I repeat a million times..”.is it kind, is it necessary?”I would love to represent your slogan by wearing your shirt on free dress days & with my family while out and about.

    1. Hi Lynnette – Thanks so much for the support! I LOVE kindergarten – I taught it for 6 months when I was just out of school – such a sweet age (and a great time to teach kindness)! Please send me your address and size and I would be HAPPY to send you one. Thanks for spreading the word! -Wendy

  2. Hi honey, thank you so much for such a kind tribute!! Have you ever noticed the kinder you are to folks, how much they appreciate it! It’s amazing! They seem to join in also! Told a girl the other day that I loved her coat, and she stopped and told me where she had gotten it,and how pleased she was to get a compliment!’ Kindness really matters!!

  3. Wendy/Karen,
    Thanks so much for sharing this. What a great Thanksgiving Day message. It’s amazing how children can keep us grounded and remind us what matters most.



  4. I see how this can change me for the better!!!
    Thanks for the help on my journey 💕

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