In Trump's America, my daughter will still learn kindness

Friends of mine are already on the receiving end of hate--for their gender identity, for their orientation, for the color of their skin, and for their disabilities. I am fortunate not to have received any--or if I have, I'm deaf and haven't actually heard anything. But my heart weeps for my friends and people in the same situation. Even though Donald Trump said, "Stop it," his speech in the year leading up to the election has greatly emboldened and lent some credence to hate and hateful ideas.

But there is still kindness in the world. Small interactions that make each day survivable, a little bit brighter.

My 2 year old daughter is learning now more than ever just how important kindness is.Even as she gets older and asks about President Trump, I will talk about the power of the individual, and of small acts of kindness. But even now, she knows more than some people.

She knows owies need kisses, fevers need her temperature taken, shots need bandaids and stickers, and pain needs Advil and an M&M to make the medicine go down in the most delightful way.

She will learn that we need to give proper care to those who are ill.

She waves hello to the regulars who sit on the bridge. It's not always the food or the money, it's the interaction. The sense of the greater family of humanity. The fact that Mommy gives Advils or Benadryl or other medicine they might need, especially after they've been to the hospital.

She is learning the importance of treating everyone like humans.

She thinks the driver on the bus says, "Hi! Hi! Hi!" instead of "Move on back." She knows the drivers will lower the bus so she can step up like a big kid. And she knows we say "bye!" when we get off the bus.

She knows that even gruff people are nice, and the virtue of kindness.

She says "bye, people!" and gives high fives to the regular commuters on our bus, and during the ride, checks to see who's here and who is missing.

She knows how to make people feel important.

She knows people will offer to help open doors for us to Target, to Walgreens, even in their rush to get home. And she knows the employees treat her like a person--when she needs that banana back RIGHT NOW because she is being patient for all of 5 seconds, or when she is helping Mommy get her umpteenth prescription so they give her the bag since she is helping me.

She is learning common courtesy.

She knows the people in the cars will wave back when she waves to them. Or people at the bus stop. Or people on the sidewalk.

She will know friendliness.

We say hello to the usual people on our walk to and from the bus, and to and from home, and to and from daycare.

She is learning the importance of community.

I have to say, for being in a big city like Chicago, we actually have a lot of nice people here. While everything is taught in an age appropriate way with appropriate boundaries, she is learning about kindness in all ways.

Be kind to one another. And thank you for being kind to us.

It is this kindness that builds a sense of community and safeness, and will help us survive the words and rhetoric of a Trump presidency.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Leave a comment