Kermit Says: Be Affable

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Were you ever in a situation where you felt as though someone mistreated you? Maybe they cut you in the lunch line or cut you off in traffic? Maybe your dad yelled at you or your teacher gave you a less than stellar grade for an assignment on which you worked so hard? Whatever the scenario, how did you respond? Did you allow those difficult moments—and maybe difficult people—ruin your day? Did you let that bring you down or did you act defensively and negatively? Every day we’re tested—some days more than others—and we have a choice to make: either respond compassionately or critically.

Since I can remember, my mother has repeatedly and consistently shared the same motto with my sisters and me: treat others the way you want to be treated. I’m sure you’ve heard this or similar sentiments, but do you live by them? My mother is an extraordinary human being who not only speaks this, but she lives it, and she challenges my sisters and me to live our lives in the same way. Recently, my parents visited Jerusalem with our church whose membership consists of a wide spectrum of ages. In true mommy fashion, when a more seasoned church member struggled to walk up and down Mount Megiddo or fell behind the rest of the group as he or she needed to walk at his or her own pace, my mother was right there, willing and ready to help. Now this isn’t to say that she’s perfect or that anyone else, cue Beyoncé, is flawless or woke up like this! The key is that, like my mother, you try. We all know that life comes with a number of challenges, and some people have more than others, but we should, at the very least, attempt to be good, welcoming, and friendly people.

Being affable is easier said than done, especially when you feel as though you’ve been wronged, but it’s important to be kind to everyone you meet for everyone is fighting his or her own battle. Carry this with you wherever you go; hide it in your heart but let it show through in your spirit. I remember one Valentine’s Day in high school, I decided to stand on the street, distribute Hershey’s Kisses, and wish passersby a “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Most took it and thanked me, some didn’t even recognize me, but one man in particular shared something that I will never forget: “thank you, you don’t know how much this means to me.” While I didn’t stand on that street in hopes of receiving any praise, the key here is that you never know how a smile, a simple greeting, or a small token can transform someone’s day…how the kindest actions will positively affect someone. Did you know that it takes more energy to be mean and angry than it does to be kind and happy? Similarly, did you know you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar? Yes, you make more friends and form more connections with people by being kind than by being rude. The world is filled with rude, cynical, careless people. Stand out among the crowd and be kind, which brings me to my next point: be …

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