Choose to Be Kind Over Being Right in 2018

I recently saw the movie “Wonder” about the difficulties a boy with facial deformities encounters as he enters public school for the first time in fifth grade, after being home schooled by his mother until this point. On a daily basis, Auggie deals with humiliation in the form of stares, whispers, verbal and physical abuse, simply because he looks different. This story is both heart-wrenching and beautiful at the same time, with many life lessons and a happy ending. (It’s a really great movie!)

The theme throughout is to choose kindness because we don’t know the personal struggles that others are going through. Although Auggie’s struggles are more severe than the average kid, this movie shows the perspectives and hardships of some of the other characters in the movie – each fighting their own battle.

I believe that “wonders” like Auggie are opportunities for us to learn who we are and who we choose to be by our responses to them – do we choose to be kind or to hurt?  Hurt people hurt others; loved people love others. With so much violence and bullying occurring in our society today, it tells me that a lot of people are hurting. It’s time for more kindness. Despite our struggles, how we may feel, or how we may be treated by others, we always have the ability to choose our response and to be kind.

My wish is for 2018 to be a year of renewed hope, unity, acceptance and kindness. May we all choose kindness even during our most difficult struggles, and may we shine light where there is darkness. May we all make 2018 our best year yet by giving out what we all want to receive back – acceptance and kindness.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

 “Choose being kind over being right and you’ll be right every time.” – Richard Carlson

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