Today is a time when we can use words to remind our contacts how much they mean to us. We may not be able to shake their hand, join them for coffee or at a ballgame. But that doesn’t lessen the value we place on them.
If feeling at all isolated or overwhelmed with being confined to limited spaces, a few kind words might be the highlight of someone’s day.
Thinking of you!
I asked kindergarteners today what it means to be kind, and it didn’t take long for them to give examples of what they will be doing to scatter kindness.
Who is the kindest person you know?
Imagine how they will feel when you tell them they are the kindnest person you know.
We often remember our spouses, kids, or special friends on Valentine’s Day. But how about reaching folks who may not know what it’s like to feel special?
Keep it simple. Pick up a bag of little chocolate hearts and put them in your pocket. Whether you are at school, work, or out for a walk, look for someone whose holiday you can brighten by simply saying “Here’s a little treat for you, and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!” Or drop one on a co-workers desk, in a caretaker’s pocket or a homeless person’s hand.
Let’s see in how many places we can scatter some Valentine kindness.
A school in Ireland is teaching kids some important lessons by replacing homework with random acts of kindness for one month.
On Mondays, the students are asked to reach out to an elderly individual and communicate with them. Tuesdays, the kids are tasked with making a family member’s life easier by taking over a chore or helping without being asked. Wednesdays are for random acts of kindness of any kind. Thursdays are for doing something for themselves to take care of their own mental and physical well-being. They keep track of their kind deeds in a Kindness Diary which can be entered in written or pictorial form and then signed by their parents.
The school also set up a Kindness Bucket where students write down positive observations to boost their fellow classmates’ esteem. On Friday mornings, a teacher randomly selects a handful of notes and reads them out loud.
After a woman bought meals at a McDonald’s drive-up for the Dad and his four kids in the vehicle behind her, 167 others duplicated her act of kindness by paying for the person behind them, according to an article in the Washington Post. Each action spurred someone else to be kind.
A study concluded that volunteers shown a video featuring kind acts were more generous donating to a children’s hospital than volunteers who watched a person doing sporting activities. Being exposed to an emotional experience of kindness often results in a greater likelihood to respond in kind.
Research at UCLA has shown how kindness can reduce heart disease, depression and risk for developing cancer. Another project underway is to determine why some people choose to risk their lives for others in life-threating situations.
If we can predict who will be kind, what impact might that have on where we choose …
I believe gifts are meant to be tokens of appreciation or recognition of the role someone plays in our life. We can’t dictate what the receiver does with our gift, though we can enjoy knowing we have given our time and thought into choosing a meaningful gift. Instead of waiting to see or hear how very much someone likes what we have given, we can remind ourselves that we are a giver. And the world loves givers!
It’s also important to remember that gifts can come from unexpected places and are not always things.
They deliver our most precious cargo to school.
We trust them to get us there on time.
Their smile can get our day off to a good start.
Not a lot of glory comes their way.
Before departing your next bus adventure,
Give a few words of appreciation.
And teach children everywhere
To treat their bus drivers as the heroes they are!