As you grow, I hope to teach you lots of wonderful things beyond just your ABCs and how to count in twos. These things are important, but one of the biggest things I hope to teach you is how to be kind, and why it’s so vitally important.
The world is an amazing place full of wonder and beauty, and some truly astounding people. I hope to travel with you as you grow up and open your brilliant mind to new experiences and places, and let you soak up all that they have to offer first hand.
It is also a terrifying place, and so much more so now that I have you.
I don’t actively read the news because my empathy meter is set so high that it breaks me to see the destruction and heartache that people cause to each other and our world. It makes me want to wrap you up and hold you and shield you from everything that’s bad and keep you safe from anything that might hurt you. I’ve shed countless tears over the injustices suffered by both strangers on different continents, and people we know and love. I’ve felt powerless to do anything from our tiny corner of our giant world, with no super powers or bottomless bank account.
But I have come to realise that I am not powerless, and neither are you. I have the power to be kind and to teach you to be kind. I have the power to make people feel appreciated, and noticed, and acknowledged, to help others when they need it and when they don’t. I have the power to change someone’s day, their week, their life for the better. I have the power to leave a person happier than I found them.
Kindness can be big gestures or small acts. Kindness costs nothing. But kindness can spread like wildfire and, like the butterfly effect, can change the world.
People are funny. We let the moods of others impact our own mood, even if that brings us down and makes us less happy. But equally, if someone shows us kindness, our mood can be lifted, or even turned right around.
Imagine if all the people in the world stopped right now to show an act of kindness to another person. A genuine act of kindness, not fuelled by self interest or a desire to receive something in return. It’s reasonable to assume the whole world would be lifted, and be an ounce happier. What would happen then? It’s easier to be kind when you’re in a good mood…would that kindness be passed on? Would it get people thinking about other ways they could be kind ‘just for the sake of it’? How different would our world be if we all focused our kindness outwards instead of inwards?
I don’t know the answers, but I do know that we can start with ourselves. We have the power to be kind, and we must wield that power with all the might we can muster. You never know, our tiny butterfly wings of kind gestures might just be the start of a tornado of positive change that our world so desperately needs.
So be kind, my darling daughter. Do everything you want to do, and see all the places you want to see. Don’t be afraid of this wonderland we call Earth because it is our home and it’s all we’ve got. Do what you can to make it a better place, and know that the small stuff is just as important as the big. You have power, wield it well.