What’ s going on? Another day, another tragedy. Hasn’t this year been bad enough? When will it end? As soon as we stop the bleeding on one wound, you open another. I’m angry at you for allowing the hemorrhaging to continue and the acts of pure hatred to consume our world. You may be 200 years old, but you are acting like a child. Worse, you are acting like a self-centered child who has no self-discipline and no guidance. Grow up and act your age. Stop this senseless behavior.
Perhaps you could use a refresher course on the rules of life and how to get along with others. It’s time to go back to the basics, the beginning, hit the rewind button. There is no way better place to learn boundaries and practice kindness towards others than in Kindergarten—the first place we grow, discover, and play together. Kindergarten begins the journey of who you will become.
Rule #1: Hands are for helping, not hurting. You control your hands because they are part of you. They are not weapons to injure or harm others. Use your words as a way of letting your feelings out, not your angry actions. Of course, you get frustrated with people and want to lash out, but don’t because hurting others isn’t the way to be heard. Use your hands to build, hold, pray, carry, play, and hug. Hurting others is not an option.
Rule #2: Clean up your own mess. Don’t play the blame game, hide, make excuses, or justify your mess. Just clean it up. You might not be at fault for what happens, but you are responsible for how you deal with it. If it’s broken, fix it. If it’s wrong, make it right. Your life will be less dirty, hectic, and stressful if you clean up as you go. Keep your area tidy out of respect for others. You are responsible for your health, happiness, and healing. Cleaning up your “stuff” benefits everyone. Take responsibility for your personal space and your personal actions. It’s up to you to stop things from getting any messier.
Rule #3: People come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. We accept people for being different. Each one of us looks different, thinks different, believes different, and acts different. Just because someone has a different opinion than yours, doesn’t make them wrong. And just like we accept that everyone looks different, be willing to accept people have different opinions as well. More than one person can be right—appreciate the right of individuals to make their own choices. Everyone has a story to tell, respect their turn when they share. The world is huge and full of wonder–we can learn from those around us. Celebrate the things that make us diverse and unique.
Rule #4: Use kind words. We don’t spew hatred on each other or call each other names. One kind word can change a person’s whole day. Try it: Say something nice to someone and see how grateful they are. Kindness builds a bridge between you and another person. Just because you think someone isn’t being nice to you doesn’t mean you have to be unkind back. If you can’t be kind, just be quiet.
Rule #5: Make good choices. You know the difference in right and wrong, act accordingly. You have a choice every day to decide how your day is going to be. You can choose to be thankful, appreciative, and grateful or you can choose to be bitter, angry, and hateful. Your choices determine the direction your life will go,who you will surround yourself with and who will be affected.
Rule #6: Ask for help if you need it. Speak up, use your voice, tell someone. Do the same for others if you know they need help. No one wants to figure out life alone.
Rule #7: Bullying is not okay. We don’t harass, threaten, or make other people uncomfortable. We don’t force ourselves into someone else’s space. We don’t prey on others to make ourselves feel bigger and more powerful. We don’t intimidate people or retaliate to hurt them.
Rule #8: Say you are sorry. Admit your mistakes and learn from them. Hurt people hurt others; don’t be that person. Be empathetic to people’s feelings and mindful of your actions and words. Saying you are sorry is wasted breath if you do the same thing over and over and just continue to apologize. Only apologize when it is sincere. There is nothing worse than an artificial apology.
Rule #9: Sharing is caring. We live in a selfish world where people are so consumed with their self and their selfies they forget about other people and their feelings. Share kindness, compliments, praise, encouragement, and support with others. Share your skills, talents and even your fears that make you human. Share your time, your energy, and your resources. Giving is way better than receiving and life is a boomerang- what you give is what will return to you.
Rule #10: Work together. When disaster strikes we come together, but let’s practice working together before something catastrophic happens. Embrace a common vision of peace, community, and harmony for all people. Value everyone’s input. Look out for each other. Working together promotes the sense of achievement, equality, motivation, and camaraderie. America needs more of that and less separation, isolation, and exclusion. When people work together with trust, conviction, and accountability they put aside politics and turf issues and focus on taking care of what needs to be done. Unity promotes opportunity and growth, even through the hardest of times.
Wake up, America. It’s time to rally. What we learn in Kindergarten seems so basic, so simple and so easy. And yet, some people have forgotten these basic life rules, and tragedies have happened. It’s time to go back to the beginning, the ABC’s, the fundamentals. It’s time to use the events from Las Vegas, San Antonio, and San Bernardino to teach us valuable lessons and adjust as a country to protect our lives and our liberties. It’s time to circle the wagons and do our part. It’s time to be respectful, kind, and helpful to our fellow man. It’s time to take responsibility for our actions and our reactions. It’s time to stop the bleeding and start the healing.