How do you treat the people who are closest to you—your spouse, children, parents? The people you spend the most time with? Dr. Robin notes an interesting phenomenon—we devote so much time and energy to smiling at strangers, being kind to neighbors, and being generous to friends and co-workers. "And then there is nothing left for those that we're living with," Dr. Robin says. "We don't save the best for those who we are living with and loving."
Why is it that with strangers, friends and neighbors, we have more patience, we're kinder, we're more forgiving and we're more generous than we are with our own families? Why do we project a "nice" face to others, and leave only the crumbs for the ones closest to us?
Dr. Robin says it's insulting to the ones closest to you if they don't experience the generosity and grace that you project to others. Dr. Robin urges us to begin the cycle at home.
"Use your first smile, your first form of generosity, of love, of kindness—use it at home; start at home," she says. "And if there is something left over—if…your plate is just full of abundance of patience and goodness and smiles and joy, then by all means, you should go…and offer that to others. But we must begin at home."
Published on December 07, 2006