Kindness Role Model
There are five people that immediately come to my mind when I think of kindness and role model together. They are listed here in the order that I met them in my life since each one has showed and exposed me to a different view of kindness, they are my parents, a drama teacher, a supervisor and a co-worker.
I was very lucky growing up and appreciate the loving and caring environment in which I was raised. My parents have never been the kind to argue, have large shouting matches or slam doors and throw things, so right from the start they showed kindness towards each other and that made a big impression when I was little. While we never had a lot of money, I can remember us always being happy, even the time we had to move away from Texas (because the market crashed in the late 80’s) and stayed with my grandmother in Indiana and while we did hate the snow and the nine months of cold weather life was still good. We had a place to stay that was warm and hot food on the table every night and if my dad was bitter about being on the losing end of the stock market he never expressed it out loud. My parents also showed kindness to a foster kid that was a friend of my cousins and took him in (while I was away at college) and made him feel like part of the family, that was over 13 years ago and I still think of him as my younger brother. Even today the kindness that my parents show not only to me and my brother but to people at work and even strangers is very inspirational and just one more reason for me to love them!
My High School Drama Teacher
To protect her privacy I will not mention her by name, but she had a rule that during class we had to be ‘nice or neutral’ and that is something that has stuck with me ever since. She believe that if we didn’t like one another we should at least have the decency and kindness in our hearts to remain neutral and not say anything hateful. We all know that high school is a collection of various ‘groups’ or ‘clicks’ and mean words and acts are an everyday occurrence, so it was nice to have a place where differences were placed aside and creativity was free to roam around the stage. I felt so comfortable and at home in that classroom and I know a lot of it was do to the tone she set that very first day of ninth grade.
My First Veterans Health Administration Supervisor
I volunteered at my local Veterans Medical Center for several years before I was offered a paid position in the call center. I was so excited to get the job that I remember telling one of my volunteer associates about the position and he looked my dead in the face and told me that my new supervisor had been in the Marine Corps. Fear slowly crept over me, having served in the Army (I have nothing but respect for the other branches of the military but have always thought that anyone who joined the Marines was nothing short of being a bad-ass) I wasn’t sure if we would get along well or not. From that very first day and all three years I worked with her she showed my nothing but kindness and complete respect. She was the first supervisor who wanted to hear what I thought about certain issues or procedures and she always had an open door policy. She made you feel like she was on the same playing field as you and she never raised her voice. She complimented and disciplined with such care and authority that there was no way to hate her. She believed in my ability to lead (even when I wasn’t sure) and will remain my favorite and most bad-ass supervisor!
My Current Co-worker
She will definitely know who she is, so no names need to be mentioned. While she is last on this list she is not least in any way because without her gently push and encouragement I would probably not have a blog today. I can remember tossing out the idea of me starting a blog to two co-workers (and only one thought it sounded like a good thing) back in August of 2016 and I did some research on how to start blogging and pinned a couple of sites to look at later but I never really followed through. Then January 2017 rolled in and I remember she asked me if I had started my blog yet and I was shocked that she had even remembered that I mentioned it over six months ago. When she asked me why I hadn’t, I rattled off some excuses about not having time and money to do it, she encouraged me to try it anyway and suggested to start out slow and small and let it grow on its own. Knowing that she had actually taken the time to listen and hear me was an exciting moment for me and less than a month later my blog Positively Appealing was launched!
I have to thank all five of these people from the bottom of my heart, each one of you has helped guide me into the person that I am today!
*To participate in the 2017 Kindness Challenge visit Niki at The Richness of a Simple Life.*