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The “ate” Adjectives

Would others describe you in these ways?

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Hopefully all of you are spending time with a special someone today that could be described by all of the adjectives in this post. And if you haven’t found that special person yet, keep these in mind as you look for the perfect partner!

Last week I wrote about a funeral I attended, and the importance of commemorating those that have gone before us.

I’ve also encouraged you to contemplate your own legacy.

To build on those themes of how we’re known to others, and living a life of positive impact, I’m going to switch gears this week and focus on a few “ate” words that are actually adjectives, not verbs.

The photo above is of an assignment our son did for school. Each student was asked to come up with five adjectives that describe them, and I can tell you that he nailed every one of them. He is all of these things, and so much more.

As parents, we have no greater role than to provide for, and care for, our children, and to teach them values and behaviors that will allow them to be productive members of society.

As such, I’ve come up with four additional adjectives that I hope our son will also be known for as he goes through life. I am certainly aware that this starts at home, so we’re doing our best!

But let’s not limit these descriptors to our children; think about ways you can also be known as all of these!

COMPASSIONATE/CONSIDERATE

These are so closely related that I grouped them together. Take your pick, but I’d be fine with being described as either. In my second post, I mentioned that we’ve somehow lost our moral compass. This manifests itself in many ways, not the least of which is that many people simply seem to not care about others anymore. OK, maybe that’s too harsh, so we’ll say it this way – too many people seem to disregard the potential impact that their words or actions could have on other people.

Someone that is compassionate or considerate might also be someone we would say shows empathy – putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to try and understand what it must be like to be them. What struggles are they facing? Why do certain things make them happy? Or sad?

It boils down to kindness.

And not just kindness to other people. Think about ways to show, and teach, compassion or consideration to the natural environment around us.

Our son loves nature and animals, and it’s great to see him link the consequence of an action or decision to a potential environmental impact. As he’s gotten older, he gets more and more frustrated by litter. He often asks me why people litter. I really wish I knew because it doesn’t make sense to me, but the litter bugs certainly aren’t being considerate to the people or environment around them!

Compassionate and considerate people are often also known as people that give back to others and their community. I already mentioned in my “Donate” post the many health benefits that come from giving back.

How do you show compassion or consideration to the people and environment around you?

Grand gestures aren’t even necessary – a kind word is all it takes sometimes to show compassion for others.

By the way, for those of you that may not be aware, many people have moved on from “the golden rule” and adopted “the platinum rule”. Instead of doing unto others as we’d want done to us, the idea is that we do unto others as they’d want done to them.

A new take on an old classic!

LITERATE

Yep, definitely important to be able to read, but I’m talking about literate in the sense of being well-versed and knowledgeable about a variety of topics.

I’m constantly amazed at what children are exposed to in school at such a young age these days.

So far this year in second grade, our son has learned about much more than the “three r’s”. He’s studied civil rights, world religions (and their respective customs and holidays), nature, conducting science experiments, weather, and many other topics.

As his parents, we try to introduce him to educational opportunities that may be vastly different from things he experiences in our day to day lives.

The great thing about kids is that they don’t have biases, and they won’t unless they learn them from parents. Encourage literacy by allowing them to explore topics that we, as adults, may deem uninteresting or unnecessary. You never know where it might take them!

PASSIONATE

And that brings us to passionate. Being literate opens the door to being passionate. When I think of the word passionate, I think of someone that cares deeply about a topic that is important to them.

What ignites that spark inside you? What is something you love reading about or researching, or spending your time doing?

I think some of the problems I faced resulted from not really being passionate about anything. I realized that it’s hard to find a purpose or a meaningful path forward if you’re not passionate about something.

Not only that, but passionate people are way more entertaining to talk to!

Once I began to explore the topics of simplicity, minimalism, and financial independence, I couldn’t get enough! I ready every book about them that I could get my hands on. Blogs and articles were other ways I first started learning about these concepts.

What would your friends or family say you’re passionate about? If you’re not sure, ask them! It is common for people to be unsure about their passion, yet it is obvious to those they spend time with.

Still not getting anywhere after asking around? Consider where you spend your money and/or your time. These will point you to your passion(s).

How will you commit to being more compassionate, considerate, literate, and passionate? How will you pave the way for your children to be known in these ways too?

On this Valentine’s Day, do something kind for someone. Or take a moment to research that topic that’s been floating around in your mind. Ignite the spark inside you, or be the catalyst for someone else’s passion.

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