“We should love everyone, mommy?”
“Yes, honey. Greet everyone with love.”
This was a recent conversation between my son and me about what I think it means to be a nice person. I’m trying to teach him that everyone is important, everyone is valuable, everyone is special, everyone deserves respect. My definition of a nice person is someone who treats people this way most of the time.
I wasn’t taught this from the get go. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it just hasn’t served me well these last 30-plus years. Overall, I’d say I’ve always been a pretty nice person, but my heart was not always in a good place. I was competitive, judgmental at times, a grudge holder, etc. The stress that caused me was not good and until recently, I never placed it on myself. Someone always did something to make me that way. Meanwhile, my reaction was all mine and I chose to not always react the best way. About a year ago I decided to think and live my life a different way and see how it went. So far, so good (better than good, actually). I'm less stressed, less angry, and less hurt. I'm not 100 percent with this, but I'm doing well enough to quickly realize the times I'm not loving. They're getting few and far better, and life is oh so good.
Anyway, I’m trying to teach Lincoln to love because if you approach someone or a situation with love, you just feel better in my experience. Loving people just spins off into all kinds of other good things -- an open mind, acceptance, and general good vibes to name a few. I want my boy to have this ability. It's very important.
It’s hard to do this with someone you just met or, in my case, someone you previously loathed, but it is such a helpful and nice thing to do. You don’t have to go around kissing everyone or be their doormat.
Just love. (Gee, how nice would this world be if more people just loved more people?)
Erin Hill is a first-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.
Erin is a full-time technical writer, a freelancer for Patch, and co-creator and blogger at SlimSavers.com. She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest. (Anyone want a cat?)