even though i am not much of a holiday person, i can definitely get behind days like this. world kindness day started in the late 90s. it is all about how to improve the world and encourage good deeds and just acts of kindness as a whole.
when i first thought about how to approach this post, i was going to make a pledge centered around good deeds i could check off for the rest of the year. and while that is still something i may do offline, when i thought about who taught me the most about how to be kind by modeling it for me day after day throughout my life, the person that came to mind was my mom, felecia.
my mother makes kindness look ridiculously easy and it is totally awe-inspiring. growing up, i saw her model kindness in a variety of ways:
- simply being present for every member of our family – as a daughter, a sister, a mother, a godmother, an aunt and a wife
- showing love and tenderness to those who need it most by being willing to listen to whatever they have to share, whether she knows them personally or not (even if it is the representative at the verizon store)
- if ever my brother or myself came home in a funk, asking us how are days went and reassuring us that if something went wrong at school, as long as she heard it from us first, there was absolutely nothing for us to worry about. she always kept her word.
- constantly helping out underserved communities whether it be through charitable donations to larger organizations or providing a hot meal or cash to someone we were passing on the street
- being the loudest cheerleader, especially for all of the young people. from surprising my brother across the nation at football games to dancing in the crowd on a weeknight at one of my godbrother’s concerts to taking off of work to watch me present at psych conferences – there is never a question about her support; it is unwavering
- filling in as a mom to some of my friends who do not have a relationship with their own moms where they can be their most authentic selves
- making birthdays feel like national holidays for family, friends and coworkers alike
- being a nurse to those who are sick, whether it be showing up daily to the hospital after getting off of work to keep our loved ones company until the wee hours of the morning or sending care packages to my home when i am battling the flu that include soup, fruit, juice and enough meds to get me through the next flu season
- advocating for those who need it and expecting nothing in return
- lighting up every room she walks in with a killer smile and a contagious laugh
i could easily type 90 additional ways i have seen my mother model kindness but then you’d be reading a book, not a blog.
felecia feels everything so deeply that i often wonder how she does it all. even though i give her a hard time for being such a softy, i am grateful that she is just the way she is and can only hope that each one of you has a felecia in your orbit. if not, let me know – she is always down to make a new friend over cocktails and conversation.
do something kind today, whether it be for someone around you or yourself.