Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012
in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Values
We face attacks every day.
Our sense of self is battered and bludgeoned by life’s challenges.
What helps us feel worthwhile?
What drags us down?
Sometimes it’s so subtle.
Steven Covey tells the following story to explain the importance of thoughtfulness. Small acts of kindness and courtesy are important; and, rudeness, unkindnesses, and little forms of disrespect can tear us down.
“I remember an evening I spent with two of my sons some years ago. It was an organized father-and-son outing, complete with gymnastics, wrestling matches, hot dogs, orangeade, and a movie — the works.
In the middle of the movie, Sean, who was then four years old, fell asleep in his seat. His older brother, Stephen, who was six, stayed awake, and we watched the rest of the movie together. When it was over, I picked Sean up in my arms, carried him out to the car and laid him in the back seat. It was very cold that night, so I took off my coat and gently arranged it over and around him.
When we arrived home, I quickly carried Sean in and tucked him into bed. After Stephen put on his “jammies” and brushed his teeth, I lay down next to him to talk about the night out together.
“How’d you like it, Stephen?”
“Fine,” he answered”
“Did you have fun?”
“What did you like most?”
“I don’t know. The trampoline, I guess.”
“That was quite a thing, wasn’t it — doing those somersaults and tricks in the air like that?”
There wasn’t much response on his part…I wondered why Stephen wouldn’t open up more. He usually did when exciting things happened. I was a little disappointed. I sensed something was wrong; he had been so quiet on the way home and getting ready for bed.
Suddenly Stephen turned over on his side, facing the wall. I wondered why and lifted myself up just enough to see his eyes welling up with tears.
“What’s wrong, honey? What is it?”
He turned back, and I could sense he was feeling some embarrassment for the tears and his quivering lips and chin “Daddy, if I were cold, would you put your coat around me too?”
Of all the events of that special night out together, the most important was a little act of kindness — a momentary, unconscious showing of love to his little brother.
What a powerful, personal lesson that experience was to me then and is even now.” 1
I have seen this story play out in many lives.
They question their worth and it stunts their growth.
1 – From Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People