I read a great post today. It made me think. Kelle brings up topics that are so relevant to me now - ones about motherhood, actively and presently loving your kids, and raising good little people. Reflecting on these issues with positive intention is empowering and that's one reason why I very much like her.
Kelle's most recent post is about raising good people. The part that really engaged me and made me say "Yes!" (in my mind, I was at work) started with this: "And more important than taking the defense—protecting my girls from the meanness—is teaching my girls never to be the meanness."
followed by "I am realizing though, that so much of confidence is output. Giving to others, complimenting friends, recognizing the strengths and successes of those around us and making efforts to build someone else up. When we do that, we in turn are building our own self-confidence, recognizing our own worth and rising to a new level of possibility."
Then capping the post off with "I want to teach them to proactively BE the good."
Now, and I only make this conclusion based on the posts she writes about how disorganized she is, but apparently Kelle struggles with organization. When it comes to mothering, she can say, "Yeah. I got this." and I love that. But when it comes to being organized? Step back, sister. Cause I got this. I was born getting this. It's practically pathologic in me. So much so that I am wedded to my Franklin Covey planner, I still think I might be a professional organizer when I grow up, and I embrace motivational speakers (they wear many disguises so judge me if you must but chances are that you do too).
One of my favorites is Brian Tracy. His main audience is people in sales and business, which I don't think includes me, but there are some gems in there applicable to us all. One of my favorites is The Psychology of Achievement. When I was a grad student living in The Big House the year Tim and I met I used to listen to these cassette tapes in my walkman on my way to the lab in the morning. He talks about the law of attraction, cites the work of God and Abraham Maslow, and gives a great pep talk.
When I read that post today, it struck me that I had heard this before through the voice of Brian Tracy on The Psychology of Achievement so I dug out the 6 CD set and listened again:
"We cannot do anything to raise the self-esteem of another person without simultaneously raising our own to the same degree. Every single kind and warm and heart-felt and sincere, and generous thing we do to make another person feel good about themselves causes us feel good about ourself. We're constructed in such a way that this law of reciprocal or law of indirect action works 100% of the time. If we go through life doing everything possible to build other people and make other people feel good and valuable about themselves then we automatically cause ourselves to feel good and valuable about ourselves.
Think what a terrible world it would be if it was possible to do it the other way around. Think what a terrible world it would be if it was possible to tear down other people and build ourselves up simultaneously.
That's why you find in individuals who engage in destructive interactions with others - who tear other people down and make them feel bad - also tear themselves down simultaneously, and become very negative and destructive personalities. Individuals who go through life consciously and deliberately and purposefully trying to make other people feel good about themselves also build themselves and they feel great about themselves which gives them more self confidence and self assurance to build others, which causes them to build themselves even more until they become the most successful, the most beloved, the most valuable members of their generation."
There are reasons to be nice, the future of our children among them. As my mother-in-law would point out, "Be Nice. It Matters." Yes, it matters - to others, to you, and to the tiny ones you model for. Shell points out to [play nice, there are feelings here]. So I'll link up with her once more because it's a small world and if one person reads something that makes them feel good, well then that's a win-win.