The Power of a Kind and Generous Soul

by Kelly on May 14, 2008 · 10 comments

in Inspiration. Happiness. Self Improvement, Parenting. Relationships

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Sunday was Mothers Day in Australia, and I had the opportunity to revel in some well earned spoiling from my husband and son. I got to sleep in, had coffee in bed, feasted on pancakes for breakfast, and my gorgeous husband made Indian for me, my mom and stepfather that night.

Mothers Day used to be this obligation where I lamented the empty commercialization of it all and valiantly tried to remember to send a card so I wouldn’t feel guilty. But now that I am a mother I really get the importance of this day. Hell, mothers should be celebrated once a month, not just one day a year!

Mothers are the foundation upon which society is built. They give us life. Feed and nurture us. Teach us our most intrinsic values. Mothers are there to soothe the nightmares and possess the magic lips to kiss away the pain. These days they are also just as likely to be a provider for their families. When you really look at all this responsibility, all this giving, isn’t every mom that mythical creature called a Super Mom?

I’m not saying that every single mother out there is perfect or better than the dads in the family. I believe mothers and fathers possess different roles and different strengths, and one cannot replace the other. Both are important.

Today I’m Celebrating Mothers

The vast majority of them devote their lives to their children. They make sacrifices on a daily basis and struggle to have answers to questions that they may not have figured out for themselves. Too often society, and women themselves, expect perfection and all knowing wisdom from mothers. When the truth is you’re thrown in the deep end from day one, and physically you’re already sinking and you know you have to figure it all out right NOW!

But really you have no idea what you’re doing and you just put one foot in front of the other hoping you don’t fuck it up too much and you don’t send your kids into years of therapy. Me, I’m exhausted from trying to get it right. Now I’m aiming for not getting it TOO wrong.

My mom got a lot of things right. She’s not a perfect cookie cutter mother - if such a creature exists - and I think she’d admit she has some regrets, but my mother is one of my best friends and definitely my greatest ally. Her love and support are unconditional and she sees inside my heart even when I am too scared to look there myself.

My Mom and the Power of Kindness and Empathy

As I sit here reflecting on the gifts my mother has shared with me, many come to mind. But the most important lesson - the one that has brought the most joy and connection to my life - is the power of kindness and empathy.

My mom is one of those people everyone likes. It’s almost impossible not to like her. She is the flashbulb who lights up the room. The buzzing bee who sweeps around making sure everyone is comfortable and taken care of. The one who shares her smile and warmth, her pure generosity of spirit with everyone she meets.

I can’t claim to be as open as mom, but I definitely absorbed some lessons from her that have made a big difference in my life. I try to show my loved ones that I value them. I am generally pleasant and friendly to everyone, whether they are serving me in the supermarket, taking my coffee order or calling me for direct marketing purposes. I learned from mom that what goes around comes around so everyone benefits if you welcome the world with a smile and a kind and generous soul.

Here’s a few quick ways you can get into my mom’s giving spirit and add a little sunshine to people’s lives:

Smile FREELY and for no reason

Everyone wants to be liked and understood so why not relax and let someone talk. Let them get their story out. They’ll feel heard and acknowledged and you’ll send them out into the world in a better frame of mind

Don’t judge people who are different to you. This doesn’t mean you have to hang out with people whose actions you don’t agree with, but we can’t all agree so why get upset and angry about it

Say hi to people you see around your local neighborhood

Chat to that perfect stranger at the bus stop or in the queue, or on the long train commute to work. It doesn’t have to be a big in-depth conversation. A little small talk and shared banter can brighten everyone’s day

Greet the people who serve you and ask how their day is going

Be gracious toward the elderly. Yes, some people may ramble on sometimes but it can get pretty lonely at the end of your life. Start your good karma today

Let other cars into your lane in traffic. We all get stuck sometimes so what’s the big deal about letting someone go before you? It really won’t slow you down that much

Help struggling parents with strollers and/or shopping and roaming kids. if someone seems to have their hands full, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they need some help

Indulge kids with their sometimes nonsensical chatter and pull funny faces to make babies laugh. In both cases, your spirit will feel better

Offer to help someone with their bags

Donate to charity, and be empathetic to street people. You have no idea how they got there or what they’ve suffered. Don’t negate or add to their misery

Tell your friends and family you love them

Be generous with your warmth, laughter and goodwill

Do something nice for someone for no reason at all

When in doubt, forgive. We all mess up. We all fall down. But when we forgive those who have done us wrong we free them, and more importantly, we free ourselves

Here endeth the lesson. I love you mom.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vered - MomGrind 05.14.08 at 1:42 am

I love these, and most of all - “smile freely for no reason”. I tend to sulk… and even when I smile, my smiles are often tiny and careful. I ADORE people with radiant, carefree smiles. I swear, I am going to work on my smile in front of a mirror one of these days. :)

As a side note: Kelly, you are beautiful!!!

Vered - MomGrind’s last blog post..My Name Is Vered, And I’m a Mommyblogger Wannabe

2 Chris Austria 05.14.08 at 3:02 am

Kelly–
Growing up, I really didn’t understand my mom. She was raised in the Philippines and I was raised here in the US. It wasn’t until I stayed in the Philippines for two years when I really got to see and know what kind of childhood she had and what kinds of people raised her that I fully understood why mom was mom. Now that I have a better sense of she is, I am able to be a better son for her. I think… :)
Chris Austria’s last blog post..A Mother’s Sacrifice

3 Donna Moore 05.14.08 at 9:36 am

I loved this post, the depth of love and feeling in your comments about your mother really moved me and for that I thank-you.
I hope that I have had the same impact on my children and I hope that you find your son one days speaks from his heart the same way to you.
For my part I think you are a beautiful person both inside and out and I am sure you have loads of your mother and your father in you.

4 Roz Mitchell 05.14.08 at 10:21 am

thankyou my daughter ,thankyou for your words full of love and empathy ,as mothers it isnt always easy to get it right all any mother can do is give it your best and do it with unconditional love ,the power of love is very strong just stand still and feel and breath that power and it will encompass you.

5 Pat R 05.14.08 at 1:45 pm

Kelly - A warm and wonderful post on what it means to be a mother. Your mother should be proud - you’ve learned a lot from her.

Blessings,

Pat R’s last blog post..Blessings To All Mothers

6 kailani 05.15.08 at 7:42 am

Yes, Mother’s Day does take on a different significance when you become a Mom yourself. I now know all the sacrifices and headaches my poor Mom had to go through!

kailani’s last blog post..Giveaway: ILovePhotoGifts.com

7 Barbara Swafford 05.15.08 at 8:40 am

Unfortunately my mom passed away, but she was the best. She’s on my mind often as are the lessons she taught me. No one can replace a mother, although I did have a great “second” mom too ( I “adopted” her after my mom died).

BTW: I love your “sunshine” tips.

Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Write On

8 Kelly 05.15.08 at 11:09 am

@ Vered
Thanks for the compliment - I have good genes. As for your smile, I don’t think you need to work on it as much as practice letting it out. Do you meditate? I find it’s a great way to extricate ourselves from our “stuff” and let the spirit free. Your spirit always smiles big. You just need to let it fly!

@ Chris
I also didn’t understand my mother and some of her choices growing up. And even as an adult when I found out more of where she had come from, I struggled to get her, but having Bunny really brought it home to me. I finally had first hand experience that raising another human being with their own unique perspective and personality and tending to all their needs while still trying to sort your own shit out and assimilate your own dramas, hopes and dreams is BLOODY DIFFICULT. And my mum became a parent at 19 - she was supposed to have all the answers and she wasn’t much more than a kid herself.

@ Donna
I definitely learned a lot from my dad too, but that’s another post… And I know you have impacted the lives of your own children just as much. * love you *

@Mum (aka Roz)
I’m glad you liked it. * kiss kiss *

@ Pat
Thank you and I am lucky enough to know my mum is proud of me because she tells me

@ Kailani
Completely agree that you can’t really get your parents and what they have done for you until you have kids yourself

@ Barbara
I’m sorry about the loss of your mother, but it’s good that you remember what she taught you and it’s wonderful that you had a second mother. I really can’t fathom my life without my parents, even though of course this loss is a natural part of life. Hopefully for my family it’s a very long time off.

Thanks again
Kelly

9 Al at 7P 08.21.08 at 10:39 pm

Hi Kelly - these are some great words to live by. I really liked the last two, the advice on being nice and the advice on forgiveness. Sometimes it doesn’t require giving too much to have a real significant impact.

Al at 7P’s last blog post..Why Should I Help You?

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