Peace. What does that look like to you? Have you ever actually thought about it? We have all at one time or another wished for a peaceful world, but what does that really mean to you? There’s no right or wrong answer—it’s your ideal.

The state of our entire world has brought such emotional stress to us all. It hurts the heart. It’s hard to imagine sometimes what tomorrow will look like.

I have four children of various ages. We talk a lot. For months now, we have been having many discussions surrounding the pandemic, wearing masks, going to school, visiting friends, racial equality, political representation … It’s a challenging time for parents!

I try to bring it back to this: kindness. Yes, opinions may differ over wearing masks, staying home or going out, what is right and what is wrong. It stirs up so much anger. We are all entitled to our opinion. But, as a parent, I try to remember that my opinion may not be the same as what my child is feeling.

Children are sponges; they absorb every comment, statement, and discussion, and then they process it. Is it fair to drive the conversation one way, when maybe … just maybe … there could be another point of view worth considering? So when the disgruntled discussion begins and you don’t agree with the other person’s opinion, why not choose kindness as your first reaction? It doesn’t mean you agree. It means listening respectfully and responding in kindness.

We need to remind ourselves that, good or bad, we share this world. We share the space, the resources, and the emotions. Kindness can turn the tide.

I invite you to take a moment and ask yourself, What does peace look like? And then, ask someone else. Ask a child, a teenager, a college student, a senior. Ripple it out. It’s change. Peaceful and kind.

Paula Hurd is the Operations Manager at Wholebeing Institute. Through her work supporting students, managing the virtual classroom, building the website, and more, she is the engine that keeps the operational train moving forward. Paula is a graduate of the Certificate in Wholebeing Positive Psychology, and uses the tools she learned on a daily basis. Her most important job is as a mom of four wonderful children. She is passionate about using cooking and sewing to ease stress and relax (and the WBI team eats better because of it!).