This story comes to us from our friends teaching Imagination Yoga in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. Aimee tells a beautiful story of kindness in one of her classes, as well as in her life. Chances for kindness are everywhere; you just have to choose to take them.
It is the simplest act of kindness that CAN make the greatest impression…
This story took place at a school in Highland Village, Texas. My students range in age from 2 1/2 to 4 1/2. I will tell you that I had a tough time getting into teaching mode Friday morning, but when I walked into the classrooms to gather my students, I instantly felt the excitement and energy from them. I had decided to bring a new little boy in to try the class for the day.
As I was gathering everyone, one little girl began throwing up. I rushed her off to the bathroom, washed and cleaned her up. The new little boy (2 1/2 yrs old), who was just joining our class for that morning, rushed over to help me in any way he could. He held the door open to the bathroom. He turned the water on in the sink so I could wash up his friend. He grabbed paper towels for us to dry our hands. He held the door for me as I was taking his sick friend back to her classroom. He did all of this on his own.
After our class, I thanked the little boy and explained to him what exactly I was thanking him for. He smiled a smile that filled his whole face.
Here is why his actions floored me. His age- at 2 1/2 yrs old, I am amazed that he even thought to do any of these things. As he was rushing to help me, my first thought was NO! A child just threw up, keep all other children away!! But as I watched him running to turn on the water and grabbing paper towels, the importance of his gestures took over. I let him continue to do whatever he felt needed to be done.
It doesn’t seem like a whole lot, does it? Kindness doesn’t have to be shown in big ways or planned acts. Kindness can be random and can be shown in the simplest of ways.
Class finally got started and then finished. The children were getting their shoes on and I looked over and saw one of the kids, helping a younger student get her shoes on. Again, wow. Huge in my eyes. A little thing, yes, but significant all the same. As we were walking back to class, I told her thank you. Thank you for being kind to another student, for helping someone else. I told her how proud I was of her.
As I took the last students back to class. Another little girl stopped 1/2 way back to her room, turned around and said “Miss Aimee, I love you”. Another wow.
I am a person that notices all the little things. The little things matter. I feel the more we recognize those kind moments (big and small) and point them out, the more we reassure those around us of their actions (the good choices). The more we point those kind moments out, the more kindness we spread; the more gratitude we express and release.
A perfect example is holding the door for someone. Maybe 1 out of 10-15 people will acknowledge you with a thank you. My 6yr old son will hold the door for someone and I am amazed how he is ignored, but he continues to do it with the biggest smile on his face because he understands that kindness matters. It only takes one person to give him a thank you and he feels like he’s made someone’s day. Simple acts.
I took my daughter, son and their friend out for an ice cream cone last week. My son was handed his and my daughter grabbed for the 2nd cone. I thought, “Oh my goodness, slow down, no one is going to get missed”, but she had grabbed the cone to hand to their friend. This was a huge moment for her and I scooped her up and told her what a kind thing she had just done. Again, seems so small but for my daughter to do this was huge.
Yes, we talk about being kind and what kind means. How certain are our children of what that looks like? It is those tiny moments we must point out when we experience it. Are we able to recognize those moments though? Children are always listening and it is incredibly exciting when you have a chance to see and point those moments out.
I appreciate your time in reading this!
Kind hearts, Kind words, Kind thoughts,
Thank you Aimee, for sharing your story, and for reminding us to let people know that we see, hear and feel the kind things they are doing for us and others. November 13, 2013 is world kindness day. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate:
1. Leave something special on the neighbor’s doorstep. Flowers, a baked good, an invitation to share a meal.
2. Make your kid’s bed. Do the one chore your kid dislikes the most for him/her.
3. Make a contribution to something that’s important to you. Change and one dollar bills from piggy banks count too.
4. Write a thank you or draw a picture for someone you love. Tell them what you love about them and thank them for being themselves.
5. Pay the toll for the car behind you, let your child give the money from the back window.
6. Pick up some trash. Spend an hour cleaning up a park, school, or even your neighborhood.
7. Make kind notes together as a family and spread them all over your city or town.
8. Try to smile at 10 people today.
9. Visit a grandparent or elderly friend.
10. Start an acts of kindness list.
Leave a comment and let us know how you will celebrate kindness.