(Girl) Yeah, but you can tell how much it's going to cost.
(Boy) That's deep
From the 1987 movie, Some Kind of Wonderful
It's a brand new day. New dawn. New morning. A new opportunity to create some kind of wonderful in my life. Or, if I happen to get up on the wrong side of the bed or am stuck in the darkness of the night, another opportunity to create some kind of awful.
It is always my choice what kind of day, what kind of world I create around me.
"It's kinda scary when you think everything is lost to find out, you've still got more to lose."
Those words were spoken by a young woman who had been at the shelter for a few months because, well mostly because her addiction kept driving her away from what she wanted in her life.
She said those words in response to a question I had asked, "What do you want more of in your life?" It's a question I ask every time I teach the self-esteem class in our job-readiness program.
"Kindness," she told me. "Kindness and love and feeling like I count."
In a world where scarcity and fear collide, ricocheting off a world of abundance on the other side of not so wonderful, the responses to the question are always similar. Even though they live without a home of their own, often without anything to their name, people don't tend to ask for more money, even when they have none. They don't immediately say they want a home, or a job, though they know that is why they are in the class. That is what they are preparing themselves for.
What they want more of in their lives are those soul giving forces that create a more caring, giving and loving world. Respect. Love. Honesty. Dignity. Kindness.
"Tell me about kindness," I ask the class. "Who do you think of when you say, 'kindness'."
"My father," replies a tall African man. "He was always kind. Always helping people. He used to say, 'if we can't be kind then our humanity is lost and when our humanity is lost, our soul is dark'. I am struggling to be like my father but in this place, I so often feel like my humanity is lost and all I see is darkness."
"What would you rather see?" I ask.
"Pretty girls." The class laughs. He smiles, takes a breath. "I'd rather see light. I'd rather see me being the kind of man I want to be."
"What kind of man do you want to be?" I ask.
He pauses. I watch him swallow. He bites his bottom lip. "I have done many bad things," he says.
"And is that who you want to be?" I ask him.
He quickly shakes his head. "No. Never. I want to be like my father. I want to make him proud."
"What if you claimed your right to be proud?"
"How can I be proud of the things I've done?"
"It is not what you've done that measures your future. It's what you're willing to do to change, to make amends, to take a different path. It's what you're willing to give up to have what you want."
"I'm willing to give up being unkind," he says.
"And when you give up unkindness, what kind of man will you be?"
"Proud," he promptly replies.
In all of us is the desire to be the person of our dreams. To claim our magnificence, our beauty, our truth.
In all of us is the belief, we are measured by our pasts. Measured wanting by those times when we let go of our dreams and gave into our desire to not feel, pain, anger, sorrow, despair...
And in all of us is the invitation to be kind. To be kind to ourselves, to be kind to those around us. To be kinder, more loving human beings.
What's some kind of wonderful I want to create today? Kindness where ever I go. Laughter and joy where ever I am. Beauty and truth within me. Beauty and truth about me.
Let me create a kinder world today. The kind of world where I am my most magnificent self shining my light so I can see you're being some kind of wonderful.
Today is Blog Carnival. It's a one word prompt kind of day that ignites creative prose, poetry and thinking. Click on over to Bridget' Chumbley's place at One Word At A Time or Peter Pollock at Rediscovering the Church and immerse yourself here in the joy of people sharing 'kindness' through their own unique some kind of wonderful!