Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Random Act of Unkindness Inspires 14 Words of Wisdom For My Boys

Tree of Life
Yesterday, as I was taking a leisurely stroll to the gym, I noticed a pickup truck driving through my neighborhood.  It was noticeable because it was a 2 seater with about 4 kids, mostly young boys crammed into the front seat.  As it drove by me, a boy in the passenger seat who looked between 15 to 17, looked at me and yelled a racial epithet, preceded by a 4 letter word.  My immediate thoughts were "Did I just hear that?" and "How weirdly random was that?".  Although I have dealt with prejudice based on race, I am fortunate to have gone 41 years without experiencing overt racist behavior.  One of my favorite quotes is "It is not about what happens to you, it is about how you react to it that matters".  With that in mind, I took a deep breath, exhaled it out of my system and refocused my energy on getting a good workout at the gym. 

Although I was able to free my mind from the ugliness of the act, as a mother, I couldn't help thinking about the young boys and what would cause them to be so angry at such a young age.  I don't know these kids but I wish them well.  As a mother of 3 boys, I know how easy it is for our children, especially, our boys to go down the wrong path in life.  As I tried to pour some positive energy into the incident, I thought about some lessons in love and kindness that have inspired me over the years and that I would like to share with my own boys.
  • If you live by only 1 rule, choose this one: Practice self love and then love your neighbor as yourself.
  • We are all created by love and with love. When you are feeling angry at yourself or the world, take a moment to reflect and reach within; you already possess all the love that you need within yourself.
  • Different does not mean deficient; embrace each other's uniqueness. 
  • Regardless of our origin, blood runs through our veins and we all want food, water, love and acceptance.
  • Anger is a reaction to fear.  When you feel angry, ask yourself, what is my fear and is it realistic and warranted.  Most of the time, you will realize that the old saying "there is nothing to fear but fear itself" is actually true.
  • Behave the same way in the dark as you would when the spotlight is on you and the people that you love and respect are watching.
  • Words are powerful - they can either hurt or heal; choose healing.
  • Sometimes the things that you say in a whisper resonate more than what you yell from the mountaintop.
  • If your friends are not living your values, love them from afar.
  • Don't be afraid to be the only one in a group with a different opinion or a different way of living.  Have an open mind but speak and live your own truth.
  • We are blessed with natural instincts that will protect us if we don't ignore it.  That feeling in the pit of your stomach is your most trusted ally - heed it quickly.
  • You are not defined by your mistakes, despite what others will say; use them as stepping stones to become your best self.
  • Stand up to the bullies of the world; sometimes standing up means walking away.
  • Although love is all around us, unfortunately, we don't always experience love at an early age and sometimes, don't recognize it as adults, so keep this definition of love close to your hearts. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
As parents, we do our best to pass on valuable lessons to our children.  We hope that each generation will learn from our mistakes and build a kinder, gentler, smarter, more loving future. I am hopeful that the young boy yelling a racial epithet today will be blessed with a loving, fearless, inspirational role model that will help him become the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or the Mahatma Gandhi of his generation.


  1. Hello following you from MBC. Look for our follow on FB and twitter. Visit us at

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  2. amazing and beautiful post, thanks for sharing…lot of care, clea

  3. Very inspirational post! Love it!!!! Just started following you! Hope you'll follow back!

  4. Hi, Stopping by from MBC.. Would love a follow back :)

  5. Welcome new followers and thanks for all the kind words!

  6. Loved your post; loved your perspective. This has happened to me as well, and it is often hard to shrug off. And, my reaction was much like yours. So. Yes, Let's pay it forward with random acts of kindness!!!!

  7. Thanks Meryl. Yes, it is challenging to move past it but even with negative experiences, we have to look for the purpose and for opportunities to grow. Thanks for your kind comment.

  8. Your thoughts and words are as mine...please visit me at or just google marsinnewyork, read and lv a comment. I would love your support, so inspirational. I'm a single mother as well w/ one son. One of the hardest jobs in the world but you couldn't pay me to leave because I'm staying for free; I love it! God bless u!

  9. Beautiful post ... Juls from Bloggy Moms Sunday


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