I have a paraprofessional in my classroom that helps a special student move around physically. She is precious. Her name is Bonnie and it’s like having a wiser, older aunt that oozes kindness and gentleness. I’m old enough to be my students’ grandparent, so it’s like having two grandparents in one room. Her gentleness tempers my sometimes silly, craziness in class. I wish every class could have one of her in it. At the end of today, one day before our STAAR writing test, when my last class couldn’t get settled, she sent me out to take a walk down the hall and get a soda. I wanted to hug her neck. That my friends was the sweetest, small act of kindness that I totally needed and appreciated.
This week at two different Whataburger restaurants. I’ve met up with two different men that needed a meal. God has blessed me with an extra job that continually allows me to add money weekly to my account. I GrubHub as a food delivery person. (Which is why I’m at Whataburger at different locations!) One was sitting outside asking for money and the other went in and asked the manager if she could comp him a meal. Since, I usually don’t carry money, I volunteered to buy the one outside a meal. The one inside broke my heart because I think it’s much harder to ask a person in authority a favor than simply asking a passing stranger for a dollar. She turned him down in a restaurant with many patrons sitting eating. Luckily, I was able to catch him and offer to purchase him one. I felt blessed to be able to do a small act of kindness.
My brother, Paul, not too long ago fell behind with his bills after over a month of Covid. We were blessed beyond measure that we had an outpouring of love from people that helped contribute to his bills. Many friends surprised me with the amount of their love offering. Their kindness far surpassed what I expected, and I was beyond happy to give their outpouring of contributions to Paul.
There’s a teacher at our school who has a daughter on the Autism spectrum. She is a beautiful little girl with a loving personality. What I love about her mom, Sarah, is how she radiates her love. April is Autism Awareness Month and Sarah found an autism t-shirt by a local woman. She put out a message to the teachers to see if other teachers wanted to order a shirt to wear. Wow! The amount of teachers that bought and wore the shirt on April 1 was awe inspiring. As I looked at all the pictures taken with her daughter and people wearing the shirt, my heart smiled happily at the out-pouring of love shown. It was only t-shirts, but it was so much more than shirts. Sarah is one of those people that will always contribute and inspire kindness in our world.
I’m reading a book called, Radical Kindness. In it the author Angela C. Santomero writes, “Seeing with our hearts offers us an opportunity to make what is often invisible visible.” https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Kindness-Life-Changing-Giving-Receiving/dp/0062913360
I often have days or if I’m being honest, not a whole day, but hours where I believe I’m a kind person. I’ll compliment a person, do a small act of kindness that hopefully will lift someone up, but a thought will pop into my head or a sentence come out of my mouth, that I wish could be unsaid. That’s when I’m convicted and I’ll try to be the person that God wants me to be. It’s HARD!
Maybe the gift is that I am convicted. I’ve always had a positive attitude. That is my blessing. It’s seen me through many valleys in my life. Sometimes, I’ve felt like I’m hanging on a cliff; toes and fingers stuffed into holes hanging on for dear life. When someone or something lifts me up and plants my feet on solid ground. That something or someone is my faith and God that sees me through. What could be a greater act of kindness than God’s grace and forgiveness? Nothing. He is our example.
One of my favorite things to do is to plant flowers in my yard. I love the whole process of picking out the lovely plants and planting them. Later, strolling around the yard admiring them. It’s stress free with sunshine and colorful blooms. That’s like kindness brightening our hearts and lives. We have choices to look for the best in people. Buying plants, we can choose tiny plants or plants in gallons. Kindness can be shown in small ways like compliments, support, or kind words. It can be shown in large acts of kindness. The loveliness is the blooms in people’s hearts for the receivers and the givers.
We have an assistant principal that sends out a Friday email to the 4th grade staff. In it, she lists all the positive activities that she has observed in our school. It makes me smile. She relates it to something she read or something happening in her life. I look forward to these consistent emails. It’s an uplifting way to end our week. It’s a small act of kindness, but that’s what matters. Kindness!