Ryan and I have been looking forward to Random Act of Kindness Day on February 23. Each year we discuss how we shall celebrate. Often, we decide that for the entire week, we will practice random acts of kindness and discuss them at the dinner table. Some of his thoughts for this week include:
- Fold my clothes
- Put clothes in the laundry bin instead of leaving them on the floor
- Read to Happy Hearts children on Tuesday
- Clean the children’s classrooms, locker rooms, gym, and cafeteria
- Hold open the door for others
- Say something kind to everyone I see
- Focus on work when I’m at work
- Be calm
As I thought about the topic of kindness, I began to consider how kindness is taught. The rampant problem of bullying in schools underlies a deeper issue – are we teaching our children to be kind? I saw with horror the pictures of the young girl who was attacked in school and then committed suicide. How can that possibly happen?
It is never too early for children to hear from their parents that kindness and caring for others must be a top priority. I think that Ryan and I were talking about this when he was three years old. Learning to be caring is like learning anything else. It takes practice. Lots of it. This begins with us, the parents, as we are our child’s first teachers. We do play an important role as mentor and role model. We may not be aware, but our child is observing us and seeing how we handle everyday situations. The way we respond is, no doubt, the way that he/she will respond.
Ryan and I often talk about the news, the war in Ukraine, the struggles of homeless people, what it means to have a job or to lose one’s job. We talk about how we can help others whether they are in Erie or across the world. I often say to him, “We have so much that it is our responsibility to help others.”
I like to think that this week is a great reminder to all of us to be kinder to the people and the world around us. Our world can certainly use an extra dose of kindness.