I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
"I have seven my cousins," my daughter stated as she sipped her coffee this morning. We were talking about upcoming plans to visit with family this summer. "Tristan, Katie, Kali, Ty, Bo, Justyn, and Jessie," her list was surprisingly in order from the oldest biological cousin to the youngest. Biological because she also included spouses of cousins in her list.
That's the way she is - including everyone.
We were on the phone with my mom later, while driving to the commissary for our weekly groceries. Sierra was talking about the planned week again. "Hey Grandma, beach condo, Aunt Lynnie and Oscar and Bo, this summer..." My mom told her she might be a little jealous, maybe she could go, too. So Sierra invited her. "Yes, and Grandpa, and my cousins, Justyn and Jessie."
Mom and I laughed about how easy it was for her to include everyone in her plans. Sierra's world is definitely a more-the-merrier place. Family, friends - that phrase - she never meets a stranger - totally applies. In fact, it has caused me stranger-danger worry on occasion. My husband and I have had to lay down some ground rules about hugging - she's not allowed to hug someone if she doesn't know their name. (Wouldn't you know she's really good at remembering people's names.... ) She has to high-five and handshake new acquaintances - especially boys she's meeting for the first time. We've taught her about shoulder-to-shoulder girl hugs. I'm not saying they always work - Sierra tends to have a selective memory about some rules. And, it's pretty hard to uphold the rules when practically everyone who knows her looks forward to her hugs.
Here's my thoughts. Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world where there wasn't stranger danger? Where you really could be friendly to everyone without having every gesture and nuance misconstrued? Where everyone is included in the family? I was thinking about this random acts of kindness movement (which I love...), and how it really could change our world.
Let's see, according to geohive.com, a website dedicated to population, there are an estimated 7,109,733,282 people in the world as of today. If random acts of kindness were actually not random, but put into a geometric series instead - starting with one person to another, and each continuing their random acts so the kindness is essentially doubled every hour (one act, then two, then four, then eight, etc...), it would take somewhere between 32 and 33 hours for eveyone on earth to have experienced an act of kindness. I know, logistically impossible, but isn't it a tempting thought?? Honestly, how hard would it be to be kind to someone every hour - a compliment, a little help, a smile, including them, a sincere thank-you, an unexpected gift, sharing, even a heartfelt hug... I believe it counts even if that kindness is directed at yourself - we need to learn to love ourselves a little more.
My daughter teaches me all the time. She may not have the clearest speech, and she's definitely not the smartest. However, she has a smile that can light up a room. She's full of good hugs. She's a natural at inclusion and relationship. Everyone is welcome in her life - she binds them with ties of love.