Kindness, also known by its aliases Grace, Benevolence, Selflessness, Friendliness, Compassion, is something we take for granted. We expect it more than we bestow it.
We teach Kindness to our children through lectures and rants and reactive examples that stem from plugging up a playdate gone bad. There are tomes about how to talk to your children about gentleness and respect. Teaching kindness tends to involve an awful lot of talking and not that much doing. As a mom, I find myself talking about kindness more than actually demonstrating it. Kindness is often more a concept than a true living example.
Kindness comes in many colors. Helping someone stow a bag in the overheard compartment (a personal favorite since I am only five feet tall). Passing a supremo parking spot to let the car behind you have it. Writing a hand written thank you note to a teacher, barista, mailman, or anyone who makes you smile a little brighter and skip a little higher. Kindness must not cost lots of money and doesn't have to take oodles of time. Random acts of kindness are spontaneous, unorchestrated tiny moments that demonstrate pure generosity of spirit with no reciprocity required, but is nonetheless naturally repaid in spades by the Universe.
I've experienced Kindness in multiple ways, but here are five that really stand out and inspire me to raise my sons in a culture of kindness.