Monday, June 28, 2010

"Almost everything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." (Mahatma Gandhi)

Today that reminds of the value of kindness.   Kindness is something I treasure.  

I married my husband because of the kindness that emanated from his being. 

I wanted to be friends with a girl when I was in school because I thought she was kind.  Eventually she became a close friend and more than 30 years later we are still friends.

Children notice kindess.  Most of the kids I know (and I know thousands...) value kindness above wit, money, fashion, nice cars, a big house, the latest sneakers, fancy food or even fun when they see it modelled by the grown-ups in their life.  Grown-ups have a huge influence in this area.  

Be kind to others in front of your children and they will be kind to others when you're not around. 

Kindness was one of the positive attributes modelled to me in my childhood by my mother.   She also modelled things that were much less positive.   Fortunately, what I really remember and feel in my bones is the importance of being kind.  I know that comes from watching her care for my younger, handicapped sister.   This sister was brain damaged from birth and also had cerebral palsy.  She didn't live with us.  She lived in a group home away from our home for most of her life.

The look in my mother's eyes was full of love and kindness when my sister was present.  It didn't matter that her hair wasn't combed, or her clothes weren't matching or tidy, or that she yelled in a really big "outdoor voice" when we were inside a restaurant.  It didn't matter that she couldn't speak and would hit to get attention.  Nothing seemed to matter except responding in kindness.  What an important role model my mother was for me in those years.

Kindness is looked on as insignificant by many.  It doesn't necessarily save a life, make you money or make you smarter or more capable.  It just makes being on the planet with everyone a kinder place to be.

That is valuable to me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddy says...."I don't get it!"

Confessions from the dad...
"I can honestly say that I didn't get it,"  the father says to the mother, "I didn't understand why you kept taking our son to those music classes with Susan.  I didn't say anything and I went along with it but I was wondering what on earth a child that small can really be learning?"  

(This child started with me when he was 6 months old.  I finally pushed them out of the musicalia-nest last year...after 12 years.)

The father continues...

"Now I see that it was building a foundation.  
He has such a well-trained ear for music and rhythm.  He loves listening to music and he has confidence.  I can see now that it was all those classes when he was so small that built that foundation."

So, 13 years later, the son is playing in a rock band.  He listens to music and learns it quickly.  He has confidence to try out his ideas.  He loves music and is a capable, engaging and entertaining musician even at his young age. 

After this most recent recital the father came over and gave me a hug, thanking me for instilling a love of music in their son.  

It was one of those rare "dad" moments when the dad looks at you so sincerely, eyeball-to-eyeball and just says "thank you" in such a way that a teacher can really feel it.

I loved that moment.  

Happy Father's Day!
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