Kindness is the capacity of an individual to act from a place of genuine concern for oneself and others. Qualities of kindness include empathy, compassion, generosity and consideration. In our home, my children and I discuss the importance of acting kindly with the intention of making a positive difference in our world. We believe that being ‘kind’ is a choice made from the belief that every one of our actions ~ influences others.
On a recent holiday I witnessed this sentiment of ‘kindness’ demonstrated by my daughters and it literally took my breathe away. Away from their learning environment, their home with absence of family faces and friends they offered kindness from pure intention, unprompted by myself.
Our daily routine of meandering the shoreline was habitually followed by a stop at a bustling cafe. The first morning a waiter connected to my children’s unease, as they eyed the queue of busy professionals shuffling side to side impatiently waiting to order their coffees. The waiter instantly calmed them with a loud cheery, ‘Good morning lovely girls. Once we take these orders, I’m going to ask you what you would like. Won’t be long’. His excitement was almost frowned upon as people restlessly shuffled and continued to speak on phones. Too busy for morning chatter! Two patrons were even rude enough to dismiss this waiter’s energy and direct their orders to the co-waitress.
Mark, as he introduced himself, recommended a colossal world of flavours to my girls and they were thrilled. Mark’s speech was slurred and his hand jerked back and forth as he wrote a name on their order. Genuinely transfixed by the joy in Mark’s eyes and his enthusiasm for the store’s products, my daughters didn’t seem to notice any of the waiter’s impediments. Our shakes were soon after hand-delivered to our table, by Mark. The delivery was a little awkward in movement, but again unnoticed. My girls whooped with delight. Mark’s face was alight with such purity, that I fought back tears. I was overwhelmed by a total feeling of oneness.
Everyday we stopped at this cafe. And everyday my girls waited to be served by this special person ~ who not only paid an earnest interest in them and what they were doing, but who remembered what drinks they liked and excitedly told them about what they should try. There was a day when Mark was absent, the girls remarked that their shakes did not taste the same. They lacked ‘connectedness’.
On our final day the girls took extra long with their order. We sat at our table by the window and flicked through photos we’d taken. We laughed. We chatted. We reminisced over our days together. We all savoured the taste of our delicious shakes. Standing to leave we saw Mark sitting at a table enjoying a work break. I stopped by his table to shake his hand in gratitude for the last nine days of excellent service. My youngest daughter then said ‘Thank you for bringing sunshine to our every morning’. My middle daughter said ‘your shakes are the BEST’, and my eldest daughter looked at Mark and said to him ‘I love that you are brave in a world that judges. That you are YOU – I am going to take that back home with me’. Mark stood up and bowed his head and in his broken speech said ‘thank you angels for gracing me with your kindness and love. You have had my days very happy’.
I think of all the learning opportunities we enable our children. The options. The advantages. The education. And then I witness this. This play of kindness. A true sense of authenticity. The demonstration of connecting. Individuals each shining their light. The pure intention of making a difference ~ and it is these moments that are above everything else.
With Love Sarah xx
Our book Little Angels’ is available to buy via my website: here
WORDS are powerful. At times, we can speak without thinking. A rushed moment, or we maybe tired from a long day of work, perhaps guilty of doing too many things at once or quite simply we’re grumpy. A reaction pops out. Or in my case ‘explodes’ out. Believe me ~ it happens to the best of us! Words can have long-lasting effects, especially on our children. A thoughtless word can shatter a child’s confidence, self-esteem and sense of worth. I’ve spent much of my adulthood, healing from the consequences of growing up with abusive and hurtful words. Some words have power beyond our years, beyond whatever changes we may make to ourselves and to our lives.
I made a conscious decision when my children were much younger to empower them in every way that I possibly could. I wished for my children to grow up healthy, loved, self-reliant and confident ~ in both themselves and their natural abilities. Words and actions have been the two platforms in which I’ve created effective empowerment.
I have become aware of words as I say them. Thinking before I speak. I always try to speak from a place of love. True power should not hurt anyone; it should help them to see their own greatness and potential. I am conscious of the effect my words have ~ our words resonate within the very core of our children. Our words act as barometer, for how our children will speak to others and how they expect to be treated in return.
These are some of our WORDS that we use within our home to encourage, empower and reassure our children ……..
- I LOVE you
- You are beautiful
- Be YOU
- Expect great things
- Find your UNIQUE gift & share it
- What was your favourite thing today
- I TRUST you
- You are my teacher
- You don’t have to be good at everything
- You are KIND
- Live from heart
- Always stand in truth
- I BELIEVE in you
- Dance to the beat of your own drum
- Trust your INTUITION
- I am so proud of you
- You are MAGNIFICENT
- Do what makes you happy
- I’m listening
- Mistakes are lessons
- Let’s read
- It’s ok to say NO
- You are my SUNSHINE
It is a JOY, a privilege and a huge responsibility to parent a child. We don’t always get it right, but each day we have a new chance in shaping the lives of our children, their confidence and their self-esteem. There is still a place for words of discipline and disapproval of poor behaviour, but finding the right words to address the action is more appropriate than labelling or hurting a child.
Our words and conversations with our children create our reality, our future and our relationships. Remember ‘our voice becomes their inner voice’.
Check out Little Angels ~ a book I wrote with my three young daughters, offering a section of empowering messages & illustrations, designed to help curb fear and anxiety in other children. More information is available at www.sarahfiggins.com
With Love Sarah xx
A FULL MOON occurs on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.
Feeling like you want to BREAK FREE? The New Moon this week is here to help. The Gemini Moon exactly opposes the Sagittarius Sun, creating a conflict between; Gemini representing the “lower mind” and Sagittarius representing the “higher mind”. The Gemini aspect encourages us to think logically, and the Sagittarius perspective entices us to think ‘outside of the box’. So, we may feel quote juxtaposed with our internal thoughts, (perhaps over thinking), with a feeling of plunging, stepping out, going BIG. This Full Moon is about communication, our attitude, and the enticement of our adventurous side. Something has been building inside of us, pinning us down, and now the new Full Moon will help us let go and let it out. This is a brilliant Moon to release, what no longer serves us. The next two weeks, we will discover what this means for each us. In the meantime, we must navigate this new terrain, talking things out and listening well.
With Love Sarah xx