Today, I celebrate one of the greatest inspirations I have for striving to be kind, my youngest daughter. From the moment she entered this world eight weeks prematurely, she has touched hearts and changed lives in her eleven years on this planet. As a newborn, the NICU nurses described her as “sweet”, and while I may be biased, I would agree that she truly is one of the sweetest people ever. At every school conference, her teachers always comment that she is the first one to offer to help them and her classmates, and they reference example after example of how she shows kindness to all those she encounters. Other family members and friends also have shared the countless ways she has shown compassion beyond her years. Her Dad and I are immensely proud of her, and I would like to share some of the ways a little girl has made a big impact in the world over the years:
- When a friend was in tears after a disagreement with his best friend, she encouraged him to tell his friend how his actions made him feel and to talk it out with him. He took her advice and thanked her when he and his friend reconciled.
- She has volunteered at the day shelter for homeless men where I work and at the animal shelter where her aunt volunteers, and she has shed tears over the plight of both the men and the animals, as she does not understand why every person and animal doesn’t have a safe and loving home.
- For her birthday this year, she asked for an iPhone for her older sister, as she worried that her sister felt left out, as her sister’s peers all seem to have cell phones already.
- She readily compliments others and tells her family and friends that she loves them, and she is quick to offer a smile and affection to them.
- She is very polite and has impeccable manners with people she knows and strangers alike.
- She has spent her own money to buy small gifts for others, when she spots something that she thinks that they would like.
- When her aunt and uncle’s beloved dog died suddenly, she put together a picture collage and sent it to them, hoping that it would cheer them up during their time of grief.
- She regularly donates her outgrown or unused clothing, toys, and books to a local charity to help another child in need.
- When she noticed that her teacher needed new dry erase markers, she and two other girls in her class bought new ones to create a marker “bouquet” to give to their teacher.
- When someone is having a rough day, she rushes in to offer comfort, tell a goofy joke, or perform a funny skit to get them to smile and laugh.
- She creates homemade cards and pictures to give to others to let them know that she was thinking of them.
- She honors her own needs by letting me know when she needs time by herself and eschews late nights for a good night’s sleep.
- She keeps a gratitude journal.
- She prays for others.
My intention is not to brag about my youngest daughter, even though she certainly gives me plenty of reasons to do so. Rather, it is my hope that others will read this and be inspired by the example of a child to do something to brighten another person’s day whenever possible and to realize that it is always possible to do some good in the world. Happy birthday to my sweet daughter whom I love beyond words and who continues to inspire me every single day!
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day