July 27, 2017

Then as you drive away, you call your spouse and say “You know, your mom is so creative. I love how she teaches him art and music.”

You’ve just distracted yourself from the negative thoughts, and purposefully focused on the positive. Sounds a lot like Philippians 4:8, doesn’t it? We are commanded to think about what is worthy of praise, rather than what is worthy of driving us crazy. Because that is how God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds.

And finally, when you drive back to pick up your son, despite your rotten day, you bring your mother-in-law a couple of cupcakes leftover from the office birthday party. You’d rather eat them… but you know she loves them. That’s your small act of generosity. A little thing. But it quietly says You’re valuable. I care about you.

As you do these three things, steadily, simply, you’ll see a pattern emerging. You are impacting the other person, transforming the relationship… and completely changing you.

You start seeing more positive, and less negative. You start liking your mother-in-law more.

Even more important, once you have to stop yourself from saying exasperated or irritated things about your mother-in-law, you realized just how often you said them. You realize how little you offered affirmation.

Suddenly, you realize this applies to Barry as well. And your spouse. And your kids. And other drivers on the road…

Trust me: Starting this process shows each of us just how negative and unkind we have been, in ways we never realized before. In The Kindness Challenge book I outline the seven distinct types of negativity we found, ranging from exasperation to overt criticism to suspicion. I strongly recommend you find out your negativity patterns, so you can watch for them!

I hope you will sign up for the 30-Day Kindness Challenge. Get a group of friends to do it together, using the free resources on the website!

Be a part of the movement. Our culture needs more kindness. And so do we.