I wrote this for Adam before he was born. I dug it up this week. It felt fitting to share. This is the part of the legacy I want to leave.
In my line of business I know a few things: I may never be the smartest person in the room, I may never be the most handsome person in the room (worth a good argument though), and I may never be highest producing person in the room. BUT I know I can always be the kindest person in the room. And that is my goal in life. I want to be known as the kindest person. If you flip to the back of my notebook I take with me on all appointments, you will find my daily affirmation page. In that list you will see: “I am the example of being kind.” I choose kindness.
Kindness was never a big word on my list of things that I wanted my child to be taught. I always just figured it would be absorbed. As you may or may not figure out, I am an optimist to a fault. I believe in the good in everyone. I believe everyone is out for the general benefit of others. And I believe that chances should be handed out in the double digits. Therefore, of course, I figured that kindness would be on of those things that a child will automatically pick up and learn. And I could spend time on the other things that really matter.
Cue one of my favorite mentors in the world. Her name is Laura. If my child turns out like Laura, then they will be pretty amazing. And the good news is that there is a way to be like Laura: emulate her qualities. One of her best qualities is her kindness. A wonderful and inspiring story she shares from her childhood is of her mother. Most mothers love to shout reminders / warnings as their children leave the house. “Be safe!” “Be careful!” “Behave!” But as Laura and her brothers would be leaving the house to go to school or even to go down the block to play, their mother would always remind them, “Be kind!” Laura was reminded daily how important it was to be kind in this world. I want my child to hear “be kind” every single day.
I learned from Laura’s story how important it was to be kind. I look up to Laura more than she realizes. She is the reason that as an adult–my goal in life is to be the kindest.
I want to speak kindness into my child’s life. I want to be on purpose about sharing the word kind just as much as I act kind. I want to lead by example being kind to my family, being kind to my friends, and most importantly (and most challenging), even being kind to those who are hard to love. They need it the most. The hurting, the lonely, the cynical. An act or a word of kindness can truly bring healing and life.
Dear Sweet Child of Mine,
I want you to be kind. Kindness calms things. It opens up smiles. It erases fear. I want you to be kind, and I also want you to see kind. I want you to see kindness in me and your mother. The way we talk to each other, the way we interact with each other, and the way we simply look at each other. Hear kindness today while you are tight in your mother’s womb. Let that be the word that echoes through her body today. I cannot wait to meet you!
Arguably the Best Smelling Dad in the World