My Kind of People: The Ways I Want to Emulate the Caring Spirit of My Friends and Family

For World Kindness Day on November 13, I’m going to outline the way I’d like to carry the caring spirit of those who are closest to me into my daily life. Because what is life without that TLC? 

 

Family 

  • Grandma Judy & Grandpa Bub: I hope my kindness can be as all-encompassing and enduring as these two. The way they both make time to listen to what's laying on my heart when I phone them is a comfort I can feel through the receiver. I hope to receive (and therefore give) that energy to the world.  

  • Grandpa Skip & Grandma Edie: I hope my kindness carries to the ones I’ll be lucky to cook for in the future. They say the quickest way to the heart is through the stomach; I never leave their house without feeling satiated and recharged with a positive spirit. 

  • Mom: I hope I can put the needs of those I love most front-and-center in the mix without resentment or sadness. Being kind in this world without needing that validation is so important.  

  • Dad: I hope the past 21 years can help me emulate the caring nature of a well-timed joke… laughter is the best medicine after all, and I always get a good dose from him.  

  • Zoe: I hope I can take after my little sister and observe the little things. One of the kindest things about her is an ability to take note and then take those notes to make others feel special.  

 

Friends (Family by Choice) 

  • Jess: I hope her adventurous spirit rubs off onto me. She desires so strongly to make a foothold in so many far-away places, which demonstrates an ability to care deeply about the cultures and her personal impact on the world.  

  • Kellie: I hope the kindness of a country concert is something I can learn to embody from her. There’s nothing quite like swaying in the lawn of Tinley Park to music without a care in the world, and yet, I know she cares so deeply about the artists she sees and the people she sees them with, myself included.  

  • Hailey: I hope after years of working alongside her, I can pick up her attention-to-detail. There’s something to be said about people who are interested in the betterment of others by polishing off works-in-progress, whether it’s a story or a storied piece of advice, I’m seeking from her. 

  • Kaylee: I aim to care about people who have no real bearing on my personal life path. Her path converges with others as a nurse—and I have no doubt she’ll be a fantastic one—so I look to her for ways to be kind in that way. 

  • Sarah: The way she doesn’t take no for an answer when including others is admirable. If I had done that—which is near impossible—I never would have become part of the kindness she extends to the world around her. This includes her future students who are so lucky to be shepherded into the world with a caring heart by Ms. Wolter. 

  • Emma: Much like Kaylee, her caring spirit as a nurse will take her far. But she also demonstrates a kind of compassion for those who are sometimes spoken over. I look to her for ways to open my ears for those who need it most. 

  • Maddi: Her future's so bright in terms of working with those who need help the most and don’t know how to ask for it. Watching her and being her friend has shown me how to be a light to those who are still stuck in the dark.  

  • Katie: The way she conducts herself—especially in her fitness classes—showcases a deep, instinctual caring for an area a lot of people struggle with: self-confidence in regards to exercise. I want to learn to extend that to myself and others by knowing and loving her.  

  • Paige: As the life of the party, she has shown me how to extend care to everyone in the room. It feels like I’m the only one when she talks to me; seeing how she can create that innermost connection with people in the midst of whatever other situation she may be livening up is such a crucial skill.  

  • Sydney: I have seen first-hand how willing she is to listen to others. And I admire the love she’s able to give to animals, the ones who can’t speak up for themselves. Extending kindness like that is sometimes overlooked. So, here’s me, looking… thank you for this lesson, Syd.  

  • Kayla: I want to thank her for showing me how to embrace the process it can be to show kindness to myself. Knowing and loving her gives me a reminder to be kind to who I am. And that’s a very special kind of bond. 

  • Anna, Abbey and Olivia: Perhaps one of the most uncharacteristic friendship groups, these girls taught me the kindness that comes from an unexpected bond from a college group project. Instead of disbanding after the job was done, these girls have done nothing but continue to love and support me.  

 

I hope reading about the kindnesses of some of these very special people in my life inspired you to look at how you can emulate others in your own life. “Have courage and be kind,” Hayley Atwell, Cinderella (2015).