Can We Be Kinder?

I have ritually packed up my gym bag for a Monday morning workout every Sunday night for the last month, however, I have felt my muscles were a bit too tight still from my long run on Sunday morning and have begged off.  Monday has now unofficially become a recovery day.  Such was the case this morning.  An odd night of sleep as well.  At one point I thought I heard my phone ringing and then had this dream with a ticker tape running underneath whatever it was I was participating in the dream having slipped from memory already.  Strange.

We had a bit of a howler last night as well.  A lot of wind and rain throughout the night.  I like to keep my window open a little bit to get fresh air coming in, even when it is cold out.  Something quite delightful about being bundled up under the warmth of my blankets.

I was driving in watching the birds wind surf.  I have seen the gulls many times on the shore line just float in mid-air.  They don’t move all that much.  Just a gentle sway back and forth as they ride the air current.  This morning I watched as a crow caught an undercurrent and was suddenly thrown off its flight pattern and was pushed toward some telephone lines.  It fought the current to regain its balance and avoided collision.

The weather is now beginning to calm.

I had a really good weekend.  Again, I have been in a rather introspective frame of mind these days.  I was checking my Facebook page after breakfast yesterday and one person posted a picture of Steven Hawking.  The caption was something along of ‘Disabled?  Smartest man in the world!’  I commented about the labels we tend to attach and that I felt we needed to move away from this.  Steven Hawking is physically challenged but he hasn’t let that deter him.  The response wasn’t quite what I anticipated.  There was agreement then a rant about kids using bullying as a scape goat and parents who are too protective and that school should be a ‘bootcamp to toughen them up for the real world’.   A comment also indicating that we were raising a generation of wimps.

I respectfully disagreed with this analogy.  In my mind words are one of the most powerful tools we possess and they are often tossed out without much thought given to their meaning or the effect they will have.  How many of you have said something in a moment of anger or hurt that you wish immediately after the words have left your mouth that you could take them back?  I would say it is highly likely we all have experienced this.

I pointed out in my rebuttal as well that with the onset and convenience of social media, cruelty seems to have reached new heights.  Why, I wonder, do certain people want to antagonize someone?  To what point?  It makes no sense to me.  None.

Has this instrument known as the internet allowed us the anonymity to become these hateful, wretched beings who sit behind a faceless screen spewing god knows what and pretending to be what as a result, I am not certain.  Does it really make someone feel good to attack someone in such a way?

The other question I pondered was the issue of parenting.  Had the pendulum swung too far?  Had parents become over protective from unseen threats (real or imagined?).

Hard to say really. I know, being a parent and having actually had a rather interesting conversation with my daughter regarding this subject, that one of the keys is respect.  Show your child respect and it will be returned.  Despite the hardships of being a single parent, despite the daily worries of making ends meet, despite the fact that I was fighting unseen demons of my own that not even I was aware of at the time, a profound love existed.  There was never any sacrifice on my part.

On the contrary, I have always treated being given the role of mother and honour and privilege.  One thing my daughter told me, is that regardless of the hardships, she always appreciated that I spoke to her in a manner that made her feel that she mattered and that she had a voice.  I always took the time to explain my decisions and to explain the ways of the world, or at least my limited knowledge of it at that time.

I told her upon her birth I had but one desire.  To become a woman she could respect and be proud of.  She smiled then and said ‘Mission accomplished.’

I never abused her nor could I.  Got mad a few times. Got frustrated many times but she always knew when testing the waters, as kids will do, when she was defeated in her quest.  And I often told her the reasons as well so that she might learn and carry that with her.  To just say ‘No’ somehow just didn’t suffice.

The thing parents need to do more than anything really is listen to their children.  Know too, one of the things my daughter pointed out was that she remembers all the time we spent together…not the gadgets she was given (and there were not very many).  There were families we knew who had a TV in every room of their home and they never really talked to each other.  Kind of passed each other in the halls and kitchen.  Strange.

But I hope that at some point we can lose this attitude of labeling everything. Of passing judgements, of hurting someone with our words because we sit behind a computer screen where no one can see us.  Say a kind word.  If you are in disagreement, reply respectfully.  That was what I did yesterday.  My Facebook friend is entitled to their opinion as I am mine.  Our opinions can be changed through debate and enlightenment and that is what I will endevour to do.

Offer a smile and what comes back to you is just amazing.

Peace out everyone.



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