Water is an amazing substance. It can be a solid, liquid, or gas, and yet its chemical properties are the same. It is always two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen. Regardless of the state of matter - solid, liquid, or gas - the molecular composition is the same. In my post Is the Water the Same?, I challenge us all to think about the water as being the same water, whether you are floating in the safe waters of the shallow end or if you're courageous enough to tread the waters of the deep end. Today, I explore how being kind to the water helps us unite in a polarized society.
It's not uncommon to find me and my children at a pool in the winter or a lake in the summer. (We have yet to travel to the ocean together, but we will get there someday). In fact, yesterday we bundled up and braved the bitter cold temperatures blanketing most of the Midwest and headed to the gym to participate in Family Fun Day to have a quick dip in the pool, burn off some pent up energy, and practice the lifelong skill of swimming. On the way, I posed the question, "What should you remember to do?"
My son answered, "Be kind to the water."
"What does that look like?" I wondered.
"Let the water hold you up. Let the water move your ice cream scoops," my daughter piped in.
Phew, I thought, they know how to act in the water. What else do I need to teach them to be confident swimmers?
As a long-time swim instructor, it made my heart happy that they knew being kind to the water was incredibly important in swimming. It also brought up the #waterislife metaphor once again, so I asked, "What does being kind to others look like?"
"Helping," my daughter said.
"What's a way you can help?" I prodded.
"I can make breakfast in bed for you and dad," she replied.
Of course, I thought, she would want to do cooking! How can I get her to think beyond our family? So I asked, "When it snows, what is something you can do?"
"Shovel the sidewalk for both us and our neighbor," my son stated. Followed by his whining of, "But it's hard."
Okay, now we're thinking about helping others. Now, how do I show them sometimes kindness is hard - but it's always the right thing to be?
I don't have the answer to that question yet, but I hope they see me being inclusive of all people, welcoming those with differences, and accepting that we're all part of a community where kindness matters more than anything. Just as when we're floating along in the water, when we're kind to it, it is kind right back and propels us a greater distance, the same can be said for society. The more we practice kindness in society, the kinder the world is to us.
Join me in using #inclusiveconversations to share about how you're practicing kindness and subscribe to this blog to read the upcoming post:
The Calm of the Storm
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