We don't put a lot of emphasis on a school year theme at our house, but I like to choose one, anyway. It's nice to have it plastered on the door to the garage so we see it a million times a day. I hope that even though we don't talk a lot about it, the messages we have chosen each year are making an impact on our children.
This year's theme is "kindness begins with me." I chose this as my own personal New Year's resolution (I wrote a post about it here), and now I want to extend it to the rest of my family. My children are bright. I don't worry about their academic success, but I do worry about their quality of their characters. More than smart children, I want kind children. And so, this year, every time we step into the kitchen, we will see the words "kindness begins with me" staring back at us.
Stella is going to teach our family home evening lesson about the parable of the Good Samaritan tonight. I think it will be a good introduction to our theme.
I will share this quote from our previous prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley: "There is no end to the good we can do, to the influence we can have with others. Let us not dwell on the critical or the negative. Let us pray for strength; let us pray for capacity and desire to assist others. Let us radiate the light of the gospel at all times and in all places, that the Spirit of the Redeemer may radiate from us."
It's easy to get caught up in our own stuff--our own fears, our own responsibilities, our own desires, etc. I want my children to look beyond their small selves and see people around them who might need help, or a smile, or a kind word. I know that when I make a greater effort to do this myself, I am happier. Those fears and heavy responsibilities fade. My desires become less important. I am more content and more at peace. I want this for my children, too.
Quote from President Hinckley's talk here.