I watched The Help again a few weeks ago and all I could think about throughout the whole movie is how and what these women are teaching their children about kindness and love. I understand that, during the time period this movie is set in, this was a vicious cycle; you are taught that segregation is right and a necessary part of life and so you teach that to your children and they teach it to theirs. Somewhere along the way, people who knew right from wrong broke the cycle and things changed. I have to imagine that maybe a child brought this to one of their parents’ attention because sometimes it takes something as powerful as a child’s innocence and goodness to break the hatred and force the kind to be strong and stand up against such evil. I say a child because, as an adult, sometimes you are unable to break your own cycle of being unkind, unsympathetic, ungenerous, or unforgiving.
JZ and I often talk about making sure we have people who are only positive role models in our children’s lives when we start our family. People who have our best interest at heart and who we know will do the same for our kids. We believe it’s important to be there for birthdays and celebrations that mean something to our friends and family or just simply trying our best not to miss dinner dates, cookouts, or other invites we receive. We also believe you get what you give, even though in some cases we have given more than we’ve gotten back and it’s been tough. Aibileen’s quote above is the first thing that came to mind when I thought about what it means to be a good mother. In the simplest of ways, being kind and showing others they are important to you is what being a good friend means to me. Being a good mother means teaching your children to be kind and treat others with respect so they know they are important to you.
Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of things magnified, mostly having to do with unkindness. I’m baffled by the simplicity of this concept of being nice and how much power it has. A few years ago I challenged myself to be as kind to others as I could be. I thought about one day my children seeing me as an unkind person to a stranger (or to anyone really) and how awful that would make me feel. We will spend our time teaching them to be kind and compassionate towards others and see me as a contradiction to this teaching. My life has been happier and more fulfilling since increasing my kindness toward others. I wouldn’t have been able to see it right away but looking back on the past few years, I can see a dramatic difference. I think the best teaching is done by show-and-tell. Being a good mother means leading by example.
This Mother’s Day, why don’t we all be kind and lead by example.
I would like to wish my mother a very Happy Mother’s Day. Our relationship has had its ups and downs but at the end of the day, I want to make her as proud as she makes me. Love you momma!