I saw Sex and the City a few weeks ago and I remember thinking how self-centered I thought those women (or should I say characters) were…especially Carrie. In the middle of the movie, I was so disturbed by her behavior that I looked around at the women on either side of me to see if they were as disgusted as me.
I mean really, how selfish can you be? And she was supposed to be turning 40 in the movie!? PLeeease! I kept thinking, what if she wanted to have a baby with Big, that poor child (I know, I know…it’s just a movie) but seriously…how could a woman that selfish even think about having children?
Then suddenly, I fell off my high horse, hit the floor and I realized that when I was in my 20s, I loved the SATC and none of Carrie’s shenanigans even bothered me…in fact, I found them hilarious and so TRUE! What’s changed. For one thing, I’m married and have children.
Having children instantaneously forces you to think of someone other than yourself. And when you do that, it opens a whole new world that you never lived in…the world of other, other, other, instead of me, me, me. For another, I’m at least 10 years older and a little wiser (let’s hope!).
Granted, not every single woman in her twenties is all about me, me, me but I certainly was. Then I met someone that was kind, generous and thoughtful and I realized that I loved this person enough to start thinking of him first (sometimes anyway!) and then the kids came and it was all over!
The entire way I looked at the world (and apparently movies) changed. One day I’m LOVING Carrie Bradshaw and the next I think she’s the epitome of selfishness.
So, should selfish women have children? God yes! If not, the world’s population would shrink faster than wet wool in the dryer! Of course, not all selfish women make a miraculous transformation the minute they have a baby BUT I would argue that most women change in beautiful and stunning ways. Carrie, I give you permission to have a baby with Big (I’m sure Darren Star is breathing a sigh of relief)!
For some people being kind comes so naturally. I know this because I’ve met a few. I look at them like they’re precious stones, because to me they’re just as rare. I admire them. I’m thankful for them. I even study them to see if there is something I could pick up that would help me be more like them.
The way they have a light heart and a kind smile, no matter who they’re talking to and what is going on in their own life. The patience in their temperament and the gentle manner in which they treat others. I used to think that people couldn’t actually be that kind, but after many years of being suspicious and hesitant to believe, I finally had to concede that they did actually exist.
You see, that kindness does NOT come naturally to me. And I’m not talking about the easy type of kindness, the one that just flows out of you when you’re feeling great and life is rosy. The kind that anyone with even half a heart can show, such as kindness to children or to cute puppies.
No, I’m talking about the kindness that is hard. The kind that you have to work at. The kind that you know you should show but because of a million different reasons in your own troubled mind you don’t feel like showing. It can be any excuse from as petty as, I’ve had a hard day or they were mean to me first, to something more serious such as I’m terribly ill and in so much pain or they have hurt me so much that I can’t bare to look at them.
Most of us use some excuse to be unkind and justify our behavior in some self-serving way. It’s part of being human I guess, to justify our behavior so that we can feel better about ourselves.
But I know people that don’t use those excuses and find a way to be kind, no matter what. And I think in the end, they gain so much more than the rest of us in terms of their own happiness and peace.
So even though it doesn’t come naturally to me, I’m OK with working at it.