As we continue The Pay It Forward Project this week.
We have had lessons in the class about how being kind makes you better, lessons about how being king affects our bodies, and speaking to you children about kindness and helping them figure out how small acts make a difference.
Today I want to explore the components of Kindness. It takes several different character traits working together to express kindness. There are many traits we could assign to being kind. But, these six are the traits that inform the decision to be kind.
Respect – How we see other people and how we treat other people. Respect is seeing people with high regard. Generally, when we respect another person, we admire something about them. Their sense of humor, their wisdom, their ability to juggle many things. Or more basically if we don’t know them, we respect that they are human and part of the world. Kindness begins with acknowledging a person’s humanity/
Empathy – Can you understand what the other person is feeling? Are they sad, has today been a bad day? Is it something you can help with? Empathy is part of our nature as a communal society. Part of our strength as people is connecting with others. Because when we connect and contribute everyone is better off. Empathy allows us to realize another’s needs, feel their pain, and have the desire to help them.
Inclusion – The simple act of saying you belong here. People are different in many ways. Inclusion says regardless of how you are different from me you are welcome and belong. To be kind you must include someone into your sliver of the world. For your life, for a year, for a moment – being kind says you are included and you matter.
Integrity – We all aspire to act with consistency and a sense of moral fairness. That’s Integrity. We work to exist outside of ourselves, to have other people respect us, sense our needs, and help us become part of something greater. When we act with integrity, we show that we want to do the right thing and show others we are worthy of their respect and. And show ourselves we are worthy of self-respect. Kindness needs integrity, because it shows that being kind is right and fair.
Responsibility – We see another’s need. We feel their pain. We want to help. When we decide to help, we have taken responsibility. We have decided to reach out and improve someone’s life even for a moment. As we succeed at small responsibilities, the big responsibilities get easier. As we improve another’s life, our Live’s get better.
Courage – Often thought of as a trait for someone who does an uncommon deed, or faces great odds to succeed, Courage is part of our everyday life. Courage is involved every time we step out of our comfort zone. It takes courage to stand up and speak. It takes courage to try a new food, courage to go to the gym and start a new program. It takes courage to be kind. Because, we have to step outside our comfort zone, show that we understand, and want to help. But, the more you step outside that zone – The easier it becomes. The further out you can step.
Kindness is one trait we want for ourselves, for our kids. We want to spread it, we want to receive it. But, to be kind many things have to come together in the background. You might not even be aware of what goes on. These components are in themselves character traits we seek do develop. They are traits we want for our children. Because they make us better. And that’s something worth striving for.
Want to chat about this with our team of childhood development specialists, or with peer parents who are already tackling this issue? Join our free parents group on Facebook:
Jim Evins is the Co-Owner and Program Director for Impact Taekwondo. After earning his First Degree Black Belt. He made a leap of faith and bought a Taekwondo school with his wife Michele. A one time IT guy he works daily to made sure that all of Impact’s students have the best experience possible. The father of four boys the Evins House is always full of chaos and noise. Jim can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org