Another summer has come to an end and school will be starting next week. Last year my kids were the new kids in the school. This year they won't be but almost all of them have new kids in their classes. We talk a lot with our kids about how to treat other people. In our family scripture study we asked the kids what topic they wanted to study. Dillon wanted to do love.
The other night we read the scripture to love our neighbors as ourselves. Who are our neighbors? What does it mean to love them as we would love ourselves? They came up with some pretty good answers. Everyone around us is our neighbor. If we love them we help them, we are nice to them, we ask them to play with us at school, we don't talk bad about them or join in on conversations where others are talking bad about them, we stand up for them if they are getting picked on, we make them cookies :), we say hi, etc... I was impressed with the things they came up with.
Last night we read the scripture saying that we should love our enemies and do good to them that hurt us. What does that mean? How do we love people who are mean to us? That stumped them a little. I told them how Daddy still stops and talks to a family here in town that has chosen to "unfriend" us and how he offers his help with their horses or other things. He is nice to them even though they do not return it. We talked about how maybe kids at school can be mean sometimes but that we should not be mean back. We don't have to be friends with them, but we don't have to be mean or rude either.
We also talked about the new kids that they would be having in their classes. We asked them what kids did last year to make them feel welcome. We talked about what they could do this year to the new kids to help them feel welcome and maybe not so nervous. Even something as simple as a smile and a hello can make a big difference. A put a quote on our wall that says, "Be the reason some one smiles today." I challenged my kids to find a way every day to help make some one smile.
This is not just for kids, it's for everyone. I am not always good at going out of my comfort zone to greet a new person or be kind to some one who is not very nice to me. I don't want to deal with all the emotions that come with either of those situations. I need to look for ways too, to be the reason some one smiles.