New Year, Old Values

hand-children-child-child-s-hand-159827So I just read my newspaper from New Year’s–don’t judge, I had a lot of football and family going on–and I opened my Parade magazine to find “Let’s Make 2017 the Year of Being Kind.”

That’s a swell idea but I may have laughed out loud, sitting at my kitchen table, reading. Because suddenly, people being kind to one another has become a trend.Β And we have all sorts of templates and books and specially made cards to help us remember to be kind.


I can remember sitting in the kitchen of my childhood home, after a particularly hurtful day at school, and hearing my mother say (for probably the millionth time): “Be kind, fair maid, let him who will be clever.”

Now, the quote is actually “Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever” from a poem by Charles Kingsley. But I’m sure Mom thought the word kindness worked better in that quote, or at least, in trying to explain to her children the importance of being kind to people instead of retaliating in some hurtful way.

She preached kindness every day, and my teachers did, too. When I think about it, most of the adults I knew growing up–family and friends–not only preached kindness but lived it. And so we grew up understanding the value of kindness, and we taught that value to our children.

I’m very glad that the old-fashioned trait of kindness was instilled in me and those I love. And for those who may have forgotten, or perhaps didn’t grow up with kindness, I hope that the Parade articles and templates and quotes will inspire all to begin the best new habit ever.

So Happy New Year’s, y’all! And may 2017 flow with kindness (and lovely acceptances)!


19 thoughts on “New Year, Old Values

  1. I can still hear my mother saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” Mothers! Right? (not admitting I used the same line with my children…)

  2. YES. I find myself preaching kindness more and more to the kids because it’s so easy to be mean these days. I blame it on the fact that we can hide behind our phones or laptops and say whatever we want without giving it much though. But if we spend a little more time talking face to face it’s suddenly a lot harder to be cruel and a lot easier to be kind. Here’s hoping the New Year holds some face to face time with you at Panera Bread. πŸ™‚

  3. Love this post. Kids are exposed to so much sarcasm, cruelty and meanness, it becomes second nature. It’s time to do whatever it takes to model kindness and expect it.

  4. Good Morning, Cathy. My daughter Debbie finally showed me how to connect with you. So this is my first “Cathy” reading and I love that it was about kindness. During my 30 years teaching 3rd- 5th graders it definitely had to be a lesson immediately after recess quite frequency. Love to you, Aunt Kay

    • Oh, Aunt Kay, I’m so happy to see you here! And I’m so glad you found me with this post because honestly, you and Uncle Charles were two of the family I was thinking about when I wrote it! β™₯

  5. Love this post. What a wonderful world it would be if people didn’t have to be reminded, but simply were kind as a matter of course. But you know, I’ll take it however I can get it. πŸ™‚ Something that will always stay with me is something a woman said of my mother at her (my mom’s) funeral. She said some nice stuff I don’t really remember, but then she said, “In all the time I knew your mother I never heard her say a bad word about another person.” That summed up my mom so well, summed up the kind of person I’d like to be when I grow up. Wishing you a 2017 packed with love and lots of acceptances.

  6. Hey Cathy…just starting my new year was this really last week I am so far behind already..oh well slow and steady right? Anyway I’m with you ….our wonderful parents lived this kindness thing everyday and we were all brought up to respect all mankind…..glad everyone is catching on!!! Never thought to write a book about it…we just lived it…I’ll leave that up to you and I’ll by the first copy…love to all in the New Year

Leave a Reply to Cathy C. Hall Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s