From the mouth of a fictional character came the best three-sentence summary of who I want to be:
You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
(Aibileen Clark The Help)
And that those whom I love and treasure would know they are kind, smart and important.
How much better our mental and emotional health would be if this is what we believed about ourselves!
It’s easy to encourage those I love with this wisdom – not so much with those who annoy, frustrate or infuriate me. I often have difficulty extending to this description to those with whom I disagree. I don’t think they are kind, smart, or important!
Yet, the tender resolve with which Aibileen often spoke these simple truths – a woman who had endured humiliating cruelty – to strengthen the heart of a little girl whose cowardly mom inflicted great harm upon Mae, illuminated and illustrated a Scripture I can recite but fail often to live:
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
It wasn’t a suggestion – He urged them, who by the way, were in the midst of hard times, to practice these principles. J. B. Phillips’ translation puts some flesh on the bare bones of Paul’s exhortation.
Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of each other than you do of yourselves. None of you should think only of his own affairs, but should learn to see things from other people’s point of view.
Three simple sentences that could renew our personal well-being; truth that might reawaken and restore marriages, or revitalize our parenting routines, or help us grow old more gracefully. And just perhaps, this attitude might rescue the downward slide of political discourse!
Can you imagine how our conversations around the dinner table or in the US Capitol might change if we regarded those who frustrate us with the conviction, You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important.
My Humble Review: