Okay, so for Christmas this year, a neighbor gave me a print that said "Be a little kinder." It was super-cute, and I took it to work and put it by my computer.
See, I work with kids. And sometimes kids aren't very nice to each other. Heck, sometimes adults aren't very nice to each other. We've only been in a school a couple of weeks, but I've decided to adopt this saying as my motto for the rest of the year.
Sometimes it's hard to be kind to others. They do something to us that we think we need to address. Or we feel justified in being unkind to them because they were unkind to us. Maybe we're having a bad day, have just received upsetting news, or feel like our actions are excusable.
But that saying doesn't go "Be a little kinder if it's easy." Or "Be a little kinder on days you feel good." Or "Be a little kinder as long as the other person's kind first."
It simply says "Be a little kinder."
As a teacher, at times it's hard to be patient and kind. Here's what I've done for years to remind myself to treat each child with kindness and respect. I say to myself: "This child has parents who love them."
Think of your child. If someone was unkind to them or treated them unfairly, it's probably a safe bet that you'd go all Mama Bear to protect your child. That's how we should treat everyone. As if they have a Mama Bear that loves them so much and wants to protect them from the ugly things in the world.
And in fact, YOU can be that Mama Bear by first acting with kindness.
So go do that.