Our parents modeled kindness (or, the lack of) in relationships, informing our basis for how we relate to others. Are you more often kind or unkind? Reflection and integration of past lessons can transform how we choose to be today. Every day will not be a perfect day in your family. However, if kindness is an important family value it’s worth the effort to cultivate it, right? How do you cultivate kindness in your family?
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds; they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.”
No kidding! Despite our best intentions, all of us, whether we are a parent, sibling, child, aunt, uncle, in-law or a combination of these, often engage with our family in unkind ways. Sometimes we don’t even know why or can’t even see it until someone points it out. Fear and judgement cloud our vision such that openness and compassion have a hard time breaking through. Maybe the family member we have the hardest time with is the one we most need to find kindness for. But how?