When I wrote last week’s column “Because I said so” it really did start as a ragey rant, kind of more along the lines of this funny essay a friend sent me after mine ran in the paper.
Instead of running the ragey, ranty version detailing the fun, insulting things people have said to me about my mothering I decided to run more of a Public Service Announcement (sorry, I could write PSA but after covering county government I’m loathe to write in acronyms).
It was met with, uh, mixed reviews. Which is to be expected. Boundary setting isn’t typically met with open arms, I get that.
But I am finally understanding in my late 30s that if I don’t set boundaries and (here’s the key) tell people what they are MY arms end up folded across my chest while I go around feeling all burdened and pissy and ain’t no one got time for that!
But I digress.
I have this idea that we individually can change the world by our daily interactions with others. Okay, maybe people like Mother Theresa and Gandhi had these ideas first but those of us here know are charged with carrying that vision out, I think.
Combing two of my favorite things: committing random acts of kindness and talking to strangers I wanted to share this little think I do that creates a wave of positive feelings and connection.
I wrote about it a while ago in this column: Passing on the gold, and would love to remind us to make this a regular practice. It is such a simple way to make a significant impact.
Here’s the concept:
What if, instead of kvetching about misbehaving kids, we looked instead for opportunities to catch them being good?
And then, what if we took it a step farther and told on them?
If you’ve ever approached a parent to ask if the child in the blue shirt belongs to them you’ll instantly get body language communicating a weary: “What now?”
Odds are, if you tell them something good you noticed their kid doing you will be met with a stunned, but delighted expression.
Even better, let the kid overhear you tattling on their good behavior. That’s exactly the kind of little thing that can give a child, and parent, a big dose of encouragement.
One of my favorite writers Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastary fame, wrote this funny, yet poignant essay highlighting exactly how a thoughtful Other can help a mama out.
She She was at Target around Christmas and her daughters were having a checkout line meltdown. Instead of meeting with any sympathy from The Others she realized the looks of horror and judginess were directed at her. And then Officer Superhero approached to teach the girls a lesson about disturbing the peace.
I love this essay. To read it for yourself click here.
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