I could see that the situation was about to truly get ugly if I didn't do something - but it had to be the right something. There happened to be a soft rubbery ball on the floor by my foot. Inspiration struck, and I scooped it up, tossing it in the air until I had both children's attention. And then I said something nice about each of them, and tossed the ball to Annalise. "You've got the Kindness Ball," I told her. "Do you want to say some nice things?"
We all took a turn, and the idea was instantly adopted. We don't remember every time there's hurt feelings, but it's becoming more natural to get to the place where we can think of something nice and lovable about each other - which seems, very quickly, to defuse the angry feelings and make finding an agreeable balance easier.
When we think nice things about others, it makes it easier to want to be nicer to them. Life gets just that much sweeter.
There's been some hurt among people I know or know of, just lately. Likely, when things settle out, everyone involved may see where they might have made a different, kinder choice. But, just now, the feelings are deep and raw, and that's what seems to have spread out in ripples today (I say seems, because I came to the computer well after dark).
So I am tossing out my Kindness Ball again. I plan on randomly posting some honest compliments on the walls of my friends, over the next weeks and months. If you want to catch the ball, it's virtual......so feel free to spread some kindness around facebook, and lets get those ripples of goodness rolling across the Internet sea......