Sunday, March 8, 2009

Say Yes!

I have been thinking some more on ways to be kind. My goal this week is to not just be kind by not doing anything and therefore being less controlling. I want to take that a step further and be open to saying "yes."

Our society sends out a huge message that it is OK to say "no." Don't take on extra commitments. Make things easy for yourself. I am sure that you have all heard that message. I think that it is easy to forget that there are so many ways and times that we can say yes to others and still be true to ourselves.

The easiest for me is to say yes to my children. In our house, we practice consensual living. We (the adults) strive to treat our children as equals. We are not always successful, and by equal, I mean as fully formed people with rights and opinions that are no less important than the adults' rights and opinions. I realize that people are not exactly the same, and we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses, and that they can vary with age. The point is that we treat the kids more like we would treat a spouse or other adult family member that was living with us, not as anything less. So when my kids ask for something, I strive to say yes. Yes, can give power, and we all want to know that we have the power to work to meet our own needs and wants. Powerlessness is an awful feeling and the root of so many negative things that develop in people's lives.

There are other places that I can strive to say yes in my life though. I can say yes to my girlfriend when she wants me to do something even if it is not my first choice. I can say yes when someone asks to go ahead of me in line in the store. I can say yes in affirmation of someone else's statement, validating their opinions or observations. All of these are kind things to do. I can also occasionally say yes to something bigger, something that does increase my commitments and does require my time. The trick is to listen and think and decide if the activity is right for me. Am I willing to spend time doing this? Is it something I would enjoy? Is it something that is intune with who I am? If the answer to those three questions is yes, then go ahead and say yes! You may find your world getting a bit bigger. You may make new friends. You just might learn something new about yourself or make a difference in the world!

Say yes to be kind this week!

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