today – 5 Lessons for my Children to Live By
This week I read Pennys lessons learned from her much loved mother and I also read Michelle’s post about the legacies she wants to leave her children. Both pieces of writing moved me greatly and made me reflect on the lessons I have learned and wish to pass on. Michelle challenged others to share the lessons they want to teach their children and here is my response.
It is so important to me to share these lessons and legacies with my children out of respect and admiration for those who taught me and for the wish to guide them towards happy and valued lives.
The world needs more kindness.
I would say my kindness is my greatest strength and it was definitely a legacy passed down to me. My mum was without doubt the kindest person I have ever known. She was a shining example of how to be your best self.
“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” -Henry James
My children can recite this quote. We have a Be Kind banner at the top of our stairs. They know the award I am most proud of in life is the kindness cup they started in Brownies in my honour ( I carried a little girl on my back on a very long walk when she cried that her legs were tired. I was only 8)
I value it deeply. It makes people feel better, shows care and concern and basically makes this world a much better place. If we had a family motto then Be Kind would be it!
Fight the good fight
I believe with all my heart that you must stand up to injustice and inequality and that indifference is not a good option!
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent on the things that matter.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jnr.
“Washing one’s hands” of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral Paulo Freire
I don’t want my children to passively sit by and let bad things continue I want them to stand up and be counted and speak out. I don’t want them to be reckless in doing this and put themselves at risk but I do want them to brave and courageous and challenging I want them to use their voice for good and always stand up.
Be the change
I have impressed on my children from a young age it is almost impossible to change other people but you can change yourself and your behaviours. So if a friend is being unkind you can chose not to play with her but you can’t MAKE her be nicer to you. If maths is really tricky you can’t force the teacher to give you easier work but you can do extra practice or ask her for help. You need to make the change and be the change and you are powerful enough to make a difference. If you change something then things change. They do.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”― Mahatma Gandhi
I think having a positive outlook on life changes everything about your life. Mine has not been a bed of roses and in many ways my adult life has been quite devastating, but I am happy and I refuse, REFUSE to look down. I look up to the sunshine and try and see the good in my days. I will not focus on losses and negativity (not for too long anyway) and I will think lovely thoughts and smile on. I want my children to do the same and when they dwell or worry a little too long I pull them back to look at the positives, take some action, look at things differently. I want them always to choose sunshine.
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow Helen Keller
An attitude of gratitude
Every now and again take a good look at something not made with hands –a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all, the assurance that you are not alone in the world. – Sidney Lovett