What do you teach your kids? As a mom, and as a human being, I believe in treating others with kindness, respect and love.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7.12).

I mentioned this verse in one of my recent newsletters when talking about business, because it is so important to be the kind of customer you want to attract.

That said, it’s also something that hits really close to home, and is very personal.

I’ve actually been thinking a lot about the people in my life who no longer talk to me, are not my friends anymore, and actually talk horribly about me behind my back.

The thing is, I don’t speak ill of them. I actually still pray for them and their families. I keep sending positivity and love their way.

Okay, so now you’re thinking, why are you still kind to people that do that kind of thing to you? If they’re spreading gossip about you, why not give them a dose of their own medicine or stand up for yourself?

Because both actions speak tremendously about each person.

If I stoop to their level, it would make me no better than them. What kind of example does that set for my kids? What kind of example does that set for myself?

If I talk negatively about others, I’m essentially giving them permission to talk about me like that. I value my own self worth too much for that, and I don’t want to diminish anyone else’s.

No matter what, I teach my kids – and others – to always be kind. Integrity is very important to me and we talk about this almost daily in our house!

I am a strong, confident and motivated woman who genuinely cares for other people and I’m not going to go out of my way to be mean back. Why bother? It’s not worth it. If they want to say mean things or quit talking to me, I say bless them and their decision, but I believe everyone deserves respect and kindness.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I have made my mistakes! I have jumped on the band wagon when others were talking about someone. But now I honestly do try to make a conscious effort to think before I speak. To make a positive action, not a negative reaction.

Kindness is cyclical. You will be rewarded.

If it’s hard for you to think about being nice to someone who did something so unbelievably cruel, just know that you will be rewarded for your patience and kindness. Every act of kindness that you do will come back to you in some way or another.

Have you ever heard of paying it forward? This is one of my favorite ways to give back to the community and spread joy and happiness. The idea is that you do a random act of kindness in good faith. There are no expectations, just the hope that the kindness will continue to be forwarded along.

Want a few ideas?

Next time you go through the drive-through, leave $5 with the cashier to pay for the next person’s order. They may do the same for the next person!

During the season of Christmas (or anytime, really), offer to pay for the next person’s groceries.

Hold the door open for the person behind you. You’ll be surprised how many people pay you back with smiles.

Go through your closet and get rid of all of your old clothes. Have you even worn that this year? Donate to a local Goodwill or charity where other people can benefit from your spring cleaning.

Be a thoughtful driver, and let that car merge in front of you. I can’t even begin to tell you how nice it is to keep calm behind the wheel – not to mention safe – even when that one person flips you the bird…

Volunteer at your kids’ school. You’ll help out the teachers and other moms, and you’ll get to know those around your kids. I don’t know about you, but when everyone at school knows who I am, my boys are on alert because mom IS gonna find out!

If you don’t finish all your food at a restaurant, get it to-go and offer it to a homeless person. Better yet, spend time helping those less fortunate at a soup kitchen.

Become someone’s mentor. This is one of my favorites! Could you guess?

I am in the business of helping others succeed. I don’t always have the answers, but I do have a ton of experience and life lessons that have made me the person I am today.

I love mentoring others on their journey. Whether you’re mentoring your kids or your clients, there’s always someone out there less experienced who could benefit from your knowledge.

I believe in encouraging others to be their best selves – and that starts with kindness.