I love to read. I read when I find time and try and MAKE the time. I set a goal this year in Goodreads of 20 books. Today for World Kindness Day I highlight #18, Everything Beautiful in Its Time, by Jenna Bush Hager.
I finished it last night. The second of hers that I have read in a line of the many Busch family books I have read. I adore this family and has NOTHING to do with politics but everything to do with the example they set for us all. They are my holy grail of how to live your life with passion and to do do it with grace, humility, honesty, and KINDNESS.
In memory of the matriarch Barbara Busch, here is an excerpt from one of the commencement speeches she did that really captures the sentiment of what I mean:
"For several years, you’ve had impressed upon you the importance to your career of dedication and hard work, and, of course, that’s true. But as important as your obligations as a doctor, lawyer or business leader will be, you are a human being first and those human connections — with spouses, with children, with friends — are the most important investments you will ever make. At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent."
Jenna highlights this in her book and takes time to share the many lessons she learned from her grandparents/parents and how she takes that with her everywhere she goes. It is inspiring. She also takes a hard look at her own experiences with career and motherhood and is real and humble about it. We all have flaws. We all have different journeys but if we do not lose site of what is important, we are all going to be ok. Focus on your guiding principles. Ironically (or not) many of mine, Jenna also highlights in the book.
On World Kindness Day I think about these principles, since kindness is foundation for them all. It is waking up everyday grateful. There is always something to be grateful for. We make a point to talk about it at the dinner table in my house every night by sharing our "best/worst" for the day. My favorite days are when the kids simply highlight a few bests and say the "the whole day was my best, I did not have any worsts." Music to my ears.
It's recognizing there will be bad days. I don't blame others for those bad days. I try and own them. Practice kindness all the time. Don't hide your emotions. Always extend a helping hand and often that is just a word of kindness or encouragement. I try not to brag but accept compliments with grace. I try to lead by example for my children and look for opportunities to show acts of kindness. Lastly - and this one is tough for me... I have actively worked on being a better listener over the years. I am a talker by nature but it is incredible what happens when I focus more on listening. Others feel heard and I learn from them. Magic.
Get out there and share some kindness today and everyday.
"Kindness is more valuable than any fortune."
- Jenna Hager Busch
BTW: 2 books to goal to reach my goal for 2020? Any suggestions?