Monday, January 16, 2012

You is kind.

You is smart. You is important.

I watched the movie "The Help" last week. One of the main characters in the book is Aibileen, a black maid who tends the children of the white families she works for. In spite of the hideous way she is treated by the white, female mother, Aibileen gently and insistently tells her child this: You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

I gave a talk in church on New Year's Day. My assignment was to give "a leader's message for the new year" to the ward. Which made me feel a lot of anxiety and pressure. I mean, I am a leader in the congregation - it says so right in the church bulletin every Sunday - but to me that means that I have extra responsibility, not additional insight or skills. And certainly not an agenda or anything like that. So coming up with "a message for the new year" for everyone else felt like a hardship. After a night spent tossing and turning and praying for guidance I did come up with one, and it is to have love as your motivation for the things you do in your life. In everything from setting new year's resolutions to repenting of your sins to interacting with other people.

"You is kind. You is smart. You is important." What would be different in my life if I started with that as the truth about everyone I interact with each day? And then added love for them from my side? Although the most obvious message in the book and the movie is that Aibileen is a wonderful and selfless person who is loving and generous in spite of the persecution and fear present in her life, the underlying message, for me at least, is that love and unselfishness is the only way to eliminate persecution and violence in the world.

So even though it is unselfish to offer love in return for unkindness, it's really the only way to change the world for the better for yourself. It's like Minny says in The Help, "You think they gonna make a law that say you gotta be nice to your maid?"

Mother Teresa said, "Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."

Starting with the idea that people are kind, smart, and important. Having love as my motivation to make the world better. Making it real, and not just an ideal. Believing that I can do all things, even these things, through Christ, which strengthens me. It's going to be a big year.


  1. It's supposed to be "You are kind."

  2. Guess who signed into Blogspot and didn't sign back out...again? That's right, it's Sweet Mia. The above smart alec comment was from Hunky Bob.

  3. That's an excellent essay, Amy. You should copy and paste it into Word and save it.

  4. "Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different." - Indra Nooyi