In a World Where You Can Be Anything…

I was out in Colorado two weeks ago teaching and visiting with family.  I haven’t seen my brother, or his kids, in a few years. (He has three children, ranging in age from 9 to 16.)  We had a great visit, and he said something that stuck with me.  We were talking, and he was talking with his daughter (who is the 16 year old) about an event she was aware of where the child involved was the victim of bullying.  His daughter wasn’t the one bullied.  But, she was talking about what happened to the young man, and how the news of the incident was travelling around her high school (which has 2200 kids)!  

After the story was told by his daughter, my brother looked at her and said, “In a world where you can be anything… ”  She then finished the sentence and said, “… be kind.” 

That little expression has stuck with me.  Over the course of the trip, and all the teaching, meeting with colleagues, students, my teachers, and my family, one of the things I continue to go back to and remember is that interaction my brother had with his daughter.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

I looked it up, and the author who originally said that is Jennifer Dukes Lee (just to give credit where credit is due).  

We live in a world with so much disparity. People are moving so quickly, and opinions are easily taken as fact.  Those opinions are posted on social media and displayed with such fervor, and often such angst, that it’s easy to get caught up in and drawn into that vortex of “mean.”

I would challenge you, as I challenge myself each day, to show love to others- especially those you don’t agree with.  (In my experience, you win more people with a kind gesture than an argument.)

As I’m writing this, my daily Bible verse is Proverbs 12:16.  “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.”

There is enough ugliness in the world to suffice.  There are enough people out there looking to find  the bad in others.  There is enough suffering.

I’m very proud of my brother for the energy and effort he puts into his family.  He is a fantastic dad, and his kids are great!  It was really nice to see my niece immediately respond to him and finish that sentence.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.