- About Us
- What We Do
- Programs & Solutions
- Blogs & News
There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”
We have spent nearly three years trying our hardest to stay safe and not get infected. We have put on our masks and sanitized every inch to be sure that we are not catching anything or spreading anything. Yet, there is one thing that we should hope to catch and need to work to spread as we help children discover a truly good infection - kindness!
Yes, kindness does matter! And what’s more, research tells us that kindness is truly good for us. When you perform an act of kindness, you are not only connecting with someone who welcomes this kindness, but you are also lifting yourself and your own happiness. Kindness, in fact, makes us happy. It can fill us with a sense of pride and allow us to feel better about ourselves and even about our world. This is our brain chemistry telling us “you did good, keep it up,” releasing feel-good chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine into our systems elevating our mood, relieving stress, helping with anxiety, and even perhaps physical pain. With all that we have experienced in this overwhelming time, it is good to know that there is a wonderful antidote - helping others and sharing our time and our heart. As Dr. Traci Baxley pointed out in a recent New York Times interview, for children who have experienced so much and have had difficulty adjusting back into school and social situations, “Just seeing compassion and kindness in action releases chemicals in the brain that helps them calm down.... It slows the heart rate and releases serotonin that counters symptoms of depression.” and that we have “...an obligation to teach our children to stand up and be allies for groups that are marginalized and silenced.”But to really have a lasting effect, we need to practice kindness all the time. We need to spread kindness. In so doing we are helping to pass on a really good kind of contagion as science has found that kindness is infectious! Witnessing “nice” and “helpful” acts, especially when we are young, inspires us to want to do the same.
Helping children learn to be kind, to be a friend, to share, to care for others, and to be empathetic to others’ experiences is just as important as any academic skills we teach them. Encouraging them to make kindness, and practicing acts of kindness a part of their everyday lives is something that we can start at the beginning. We know that children are watching and absorbing all that surrounds them - what they observe they will mimic. To that end, it is our job to put a spotlight on acts of kindness for them. If we truly want to see a culture of kindness - a world where kindness is a norm, then we need to instill caring, empathy, and prosocial behaviors in children as much as we work to develop literacy and math skills. On Kindness Day and every day, let’s think about 5 ways to help children develop a kindness reflex - one that they can always have at the ready and inspire others to replicate -as they spread the kindness bug.
It’s tempting to think ‘a little’ isn’t significant and that only ‘a lot’ matters...But most things that are important in life start very small and change very slowly, and they don’t come with fanfare and bright lights.”
Finally, always remember... Be kind to you!
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,but people will never forget how you made them feel."