Dream Big, Dream Kind

Today, I won’t try and paraphrase the great Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., even if it is tempting. The man’s life and message (particularly his “I Have a Dream” speech) was so much bigger than this little email devoted to my Monday morning musings.

Instead, I wanted to share with you a message of kindness, and why I think that’s one way to act on Reverend King’s message, on this day and every day.

Each one of us, despite the differences we may see, and think, and feel, is an individual. Even within the groups that apparently divide us, each of us has a family, friends, hopes, goals, and the desire to be seen and respected.

Dr. King reminded us of that, and throughout history, his message has resonated strongly with other great leaders and thinkers, inspiring countless philosophers and writers in the years since.

One of my favorite authors is Dale Carnegie, who wrote How To Win Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie believed that the way to change the world around you was to change the way you behave toward it, and the people in it – a message I think Dr. King would have liked.

What’s amazing to me, however, is the way kids seem to catch on. Or rather, the way kids inherently know what kindness is. For example, watch this 43-second video and then come back here. I’ll wait!

learn kindness

It’s really something, isn’t it? Kids know how to be kind; they know in their hearts how to see through their differences and reach out to one another. It seems to me like we’re all born knowing what kindness is, but something in our lives causes us to unlearn it.

In honor of Dr. King, I think we should all vow to re-learn kindness. Simple acts, like remembering someone’s name or saying ‘thank you’, can go a long way toward making others feel valued. These little gestures are the sorts of kindness that reach past boundaries. When Dr. King spoke about all of God’s children, we can all relate – we’ve all been children, all had our good days and our bad.

Take time today to be a little childish – with love and kindness, with forgiveness, or with a smile for someone else.

Happy Monday,