Everyday after school, Saren asks her five children two important questions: “What did you learn today?” and “What did you to do help someone?”
I know the importance of making a difference through simple, random acts of kindness. So often when we think of making a difference our minds turn to those suffering in poverty and those in war-torn countries so desperately in need of our help, but there are so many ways to make a difference right here in our own backyard!
Discuss within your family the power of spontaneous acts of kindness and how they can have a big impact on others. A simple thing like a smile, sitting next to someone at lunch, inviting the new kid to play with you, or helping someone with their work can seem like such a little thing, but could mean everything to that other person.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” –Leo Buscaglia
I feel this is especially important with the start of a new school year. Bullying would cease if more people were aware of others’ needs and chose to help in some way. Prompt your children to notice when others are sad or left out and be the one to go out of their way to do or say something kind. Brainstorm as a family ways you can do simple good deeds each day in your home, class, school, and community.
I remember one day out on the playground after school my oldest son, who was only six years old at the time, bent down and picked up a chip bag and took it to the garbage. This very simple act, done quietly, was seen by some other children playing nearby and when they asked him why he did that he just shrugged and said, “I am saving the polar bears.” He knew that picking up one piece of garbage was a small thing but if we all do small things we can make great change. After his simple remark the other kids looked around and joined him in picking up garbage on the playground. It was a powerful example of how these little things can have a ripple effect of positive energy. We can all make a big difference just by doing simple, good things each day.
So, take this month’s challenge to heart and share this message of simple acts of kindness with your family. And please share with us how you and your children have helped someone in some way each day.