Deliberate Words of Kindness

I recently had the honor of attending my great-niece’s Bat Mitzvah. I’ve been to two such services, and it’s a somber, religious occasion.

It’s also personal and very meaningful to the young person and her family. My favorite part is when the parents get to address their daughter. They typically heap praise on her for how hard she had to work to prepare for the day. And they also recall stories that tell about her character in general.

This is an opportunity for parents to stand up and publicly tell their child how wonderful she is, how much they love her, and how proud they feel. It brings a tear to the eye just to witness the power and beauty of that.

Never in my upbringing was there such an opportunity. My dad made sure I knew he believed in me in his own quiet way. My mom was more reserved and critical. Atta-girls were very scarce in my Catholic school. I don’t remember anyone toasting in a meaningful way at my wedding. I remember receiving a few accolades when I worked in an office and feeling very moved when the recognition happened.

And maybe that’s appropriate. Maybe if we work hard to earn praise and it is reserved for special achievements, it is that much more rewarding.

But let’s not be too stingy! Let’s never underestimate the power of a kudos. Sometimes a kind word can make all the difference in someone’s day. What if someone has not heard any encouragement in a long while, and might really be uplifted by a compliment?

“When you see something beautiful in someone, tell them. It may take seconds to say, but for them it could last a lifetime.” — Unknown

I bet my great-niece will remember her Bat Mitzvah for a lifetime. What if we could each have a positive influence on someone, albeit in a much smaller way, simply by being bold enough to say something nice about them?

Let’s find ways to spread goodness, not only through “random acts of kindness,” but also through deliberate words of kindness.

Goodness knows the world could use more kindness!

Category : Blog &Health &Personal Growth Posted on August 16, 2017

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