Me and a friend was chatting about how suspicious we are of everyone (seems this way anyway). He had a project to do, which was to give away $50 to a person that needed it and to his dismay; he could not give it away! People flat out refused it, walked away or wanted to know what the arterial motive was for the gift. To me this was both baffling and understandable. Baffling, because in this economic battle that is upon us to stay afloat; you still can’t give money away. Understandable, because you don’t know who to trust or who will expect something in return for their kindness.
Are we under an illusion that the world still has some good in it?
Have we seen so much bad that we tend to expect the worst from everyone that we meet?
As a society, are we that disheartened that we think the worst in people without even knowing them or what they are about? It seems that way! I initiated a conversation with another friend who was in the military about this topic. He stated that since 9-11 he has become apprehensive of any and everyone that were not family members. I told him that I have become that way of everyone since I became a parent and the child abduction rates have sky rocketed. As an adult I can remember a simpler time when Halloween was a time to look forward to, not a time to analyze candy or decide to give a party instead of going door to door. A simpler time, when someone came up to you and gave you a quarter, you said “thank you” and went to the ice cream truck. Now we teach our children that you never take money or anything from strangers.
Is kindness a dying art form in our communities today or do we have to look deep for the great community that we envision? The lessons that I teach my daughter are in direct conflict with how our society is. I teach the biblical lessons of being kind to someone even though they may not be kind to you. As a seven year old this is very hard for her, because she expects everyone to be kind and if they are not she wants to treat them the same way they treat her (work in progress). I also teach her to see the good in a person even when they only show her the bad (I am working on this one as well, I tend to just shy away from dealing with that person at all, too much stress. Ironically, she does the same thing). I also tell her that you should not expect the worst (Even though most people expect the worst and is shocked by the best).
Having these conversations with these two individuals have started me to think about the foundation that I am building with my daughter and the vision that she will have toward life. Am I setting her up for a hard fall or am I giving her a positive outlook for a gloomy future filled with not so kind people?
Don’t get me wrong, I teach her to have survival instinct as well such as don’t talk to strangers, everyone is not your friend, be a leader not a follower, fight for yourself; do not let anyone bully you in to anything, be yourself ;an original, and most importantly, love yourself that way you won’t fall for anything! But I want her to also have a POSITIVE outlook on life instead of being one of those people who are always NEGATIVE about everything and everybody (we all know someone like this)!
Am I asking for too much? This is my Friday rant on KINDNESS!