Mr. Brown’s Precept from the book Wonder, by R. J. Palacio, holds new meaning to me today. We’ve been reading the book in class for a couple weeks now. My son and I are also reading it at home.
If given the choice between being right and being kind; Choose Kind.
This morning I had choices.
1. “choose kind,” and politely address a mother of a boy, so-and-so, whom most definitely did not “choose kind,” in regards to actions and comments targeted at my son these past few weeks.
2. I could have been, “right,” and hurled icy snowballs, pelting them both in their unsuspecting faces as they defenselessly made their way into the school this morning.
3. I could have stayed silent. Crickets humming, (blaring) as I smiled courteously, (sheepishly) ..Oh Good Morning.. and nodded as I saw the young culprit and his mother make their way into the school.
I had influences.
- My son’s heart; pure gold. He doesn’t have a mean bone. I would ask him to stick up for himself and he would say he was but, “didn’t want to hurt so-and-so’s feeling, too.” Gaaaahh. I mean. Come on. Sometimes having the nice kid is tough.
- My friend’s advice; We are our kids’ biggest advocates. Mom-to-Mom meeting, Stat.
I had… divine intervention? At 7:30 A.M. the mother walks up to school with her son at the exact moment I am dropping off mine, as if I had willed it to happen.
Here we go…
I chose? Option # 1.
I chose kind.
Politely, I inform her of some recent instances where some not-so-kind-choosing-and-doings were taking place which involved her son. That’s hard to hear. I knew that as hard as it was for me to address it with her, it had to be hard to receive, as well. This could have gone badly. Regardless of the risks, I decided to choose kind and address the issue directly, but gently and let the chips fall where they may. The mother was reassuring and apologetic. I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank you kindness.
I’m not going to lie. It might have felt pretty gratifying to pelt snowballs this morning. I’m 34 and this thought ran through my head. No shame. With the frustration I felt and protective nature setting in, Mama Bear was coming out and ready to pounce. Ok, maybe it wouldn’t have been right but it would have felt right at that moment. Again, no shame in that feeling.
Regardless of this, sound the trumpets, I chose kind. Mama Bear politely roared; hopefully loud enough to get the message across. Now. Ahem. This, mind you, is all with the hopes that some reciprocal action will be taking place with little, “so-and-so,” choosing kindness Option # 1, too.
Otherwise, I may be apprehended for snowball assault.