My daughter and I watched the movie “Wonder” yesterday and it left a huge footprint on my heart. The story about Auggie Pullman is heartwarming and serves as a valuable reminder to be kind and inclusive to others. In all honesty, I cried more than once and the movie tugged at my emotions.
“Wonder” was a delightful story with a happy ending and I was relieved when the kids at Auggie’s school ended up rallying around him, including him and in the end, genuinely loved him. With that being said, it was not without a few bumps along the way. In short, there were times that the dark side of being human reared its ugly head and some of the kids picked on Auggie in heartbreaking and cruel ways.
Sadly, bullying goes on every day and unlike the movie, life’s battles do not always have a storybook ending. Judgement, bullying, abuse and mistreatment happen at every age.
Life is hard. Most people are fighting some type of battle. I have always believed that we need to walk this journey with compassion and an awareness that it is impossible to know what another is going through. People need to feel loved and cared about. People need to be included. Connection is a thread that bonds human beings together and lies at the root of what each and every one of us need.
Auggie said it best when at the end of the movie he said, “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lifetime.” How cool would that be? In the end, we all want to feel loved and accepted. Kids and adults alike want to fit in and to feel like they matter.
So what can each of us do to help one another feel loved, accepted, cared about and like we ALL matter? One of the simplest and most important things every person can do is to BE KIND.
Kindness costs nothing yet it can make a difference in this world. There are no limits or restrictions or time stamps on being kind. The smallest of acts can change a life. Being kind is contagious and paying it forward can brighten anyone’s day.
Choice is one of the most beautiful and empowering things in life and each and every morning we get to wake up and choose to be kind. That is an incredible thing. Remember, “when given the choice between being right or being kind choose kind.” It’s so true and so simple.
Remember, it does not have to take much time or much energy out of your busy day. Being kind can be as simple as smiling at others, sharing a hug, opening a door, paying for a strangers cup of coffee, calling an old friend or sending a thoughtful card. Being kind is about showing up. It is about listening, acknowledging, being there and loving others when things are tough.
Being kind is about standing up for others when no one else does. It is sharing, supporting, protecting and speaking up. Kindness is about giving, opening your arms and sometimes your home. It is about forgiving and sometimes it is about empathy instead of judgement.
To be kind is to accept and love people for who they are and to find the beauty in others even when it might be visibly hard to see.
Life is hard and it can be difficult to see past our own struggles but sometimes it is when we are able to be kind to others that the biggest gifts bless our own lives and help us to rise above our own adversity and pain. And, there will come a time when you too will desperately need the kindness from another to come your way.
Kindness matters. It matters a lot and we can all choose to be kind.
Live each and every day making that choice. Choose kindness. Be that one person that makes a difference in the life of another human being today. Give that standing ovation.
In Peace and With Love,