I love the book and the movie The Help. If you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend it. In the book and movie the maid, Aibileen Clark, tells the little toddler girl she nannys, Mae Mobley, “You is kind, You is smart, You is important.”
The reason why I LOVE these three words is because they are meaningful and significant to a person’s divine worth. If children grow up believing that they are kind, smart, and important, it will help them combat the shallow and insignificant roles the media and modern day culture try to enforce.
For example, it would have been much less meaningful (yet much more media-like) had Aibileen said, You is Beautiful, You is Skinny, You is Wanted. Yet those things are what our little girls and young women and even older women are told that their worth is dependent on. And men are being raised up to believe those things as well. All you need to do to is to turn on the radio, watch most T.V. stations and movies, or skim through magazines to see these skewed beliefs being taught about the worth of women and men.
Recently, I noticed that I often compliment my nieces on how ‘cute’ they look or how ‘beautiful’ they are. In contrast, I usually tell my nephews how ‘smart’ and how ‘talented’ they are. After a while, I realized that by doing this I was supporting these mixed up ideas about a person’s worth. I realized I should be complimenting both my nieces and nephews, as well as other friends and family on more substantial qualities like intelligence, good choices made, kindness, talents, great ideas, and other non-physical characteristics.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible says, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; …. the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” And that was especially true in Mae Mobley’s case. Her mom was very shallow in most respects and made multiple comments (in the book) about her weight and appearance. Aibileen knew that her mom was judging her on how she looked so she made a special effort to reinforce her intrinsic value by telling her that she is an important, kind and smart little girl. Mae Mobley loved Aibi for showing her unconditional love.
Making an effort to give our children, family, and friends meaningful compliments that are based on their true worth will help them feel unconditional love…something our media and culture are not giving them.
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