Think back to your teenage years. A blessing and sometimes a curse. Years of fun and social awkwardness. They challenged us to decide if we were going to stand out or fade into the crowd. If we were lucky, there was someone waiting in the wings to help us decide.
Michelle Icard, a parenting contributor for the Today show, made it her mission to ‘stand out’ while sitting in Starbucks. While overhearing three teenagers degrade a classmate, complain about previous gifts they'd received and boast about their popularity, Michelle debated if she should say anything. After much thought, she bought the girls drinks and presented them with a hand-written note as a "note of encouragement."
Kindness plays a major part in this situation because Michelle exemplifies the sentiment "If you see something, say something." In the note, Michelle acknowledges the girls' intelligence and beauty, then gently provokes empathy stating "I heard you talk about a girl who sang a song about being lonely in the talent show – and you laughed. About a girl who couldn’t be lead singer because you got all the votes, about crappy presents other people have given you…and you sounded so mean and petty."
These actions dared not only the girls, but myself to take a look at how we treat others. Shamefully, I admit that sometimes pointing out the shortcomings of someone else, gives a false sense of empowerment because it takes some of the pressure off of my own turmoil. Let's change this narrative and become responsible for spreading words of life, not death.
Our beauty is not a mask for our attitudes. If anything, it is an enhancer of the light that lives inside of us. Let your light shine bright this week, and don't let anyone dim it. KAE began 2017 with the phrase, ‘live loved’. In order to do so, we must allow others to see and feel that love. Don’t keep it to yourself.
In the words of Michelle Icard, "You are smart and you are pretty, it would take nothing from you to also be kind."
Challenge: Write a note and either give it to them directly or leave it for someone anywhere for the next person to find. In the note, sign it with "#KAE" and tag us (@KAE_collection on Instagram and Twitter and @KAE Collection on Facebook). Let's show the world that there are many looking to stand out for our kindness to be seen.