*This article was inspired by this post.
Yes, I did! Everyday on my teaching job at middle school classes I was a part of, for over 5 years.
I did my best to constantly kill them with kindness.
Both the schools, I worked with, had all hand picked teachers who had experience and the know how to physically, mentally and psychologically handle these independent diamonds in the rough.
The longest it took me to “kill” a student with my kindness was a boy with serious esteem issues and who would be an outcast mostly. It took a full 3 months. I pulled all my tricks of the trade to try and wrap him around my finger.
I didn’t call on him when he wasn’t paying attention, but did when I knew he had been listening.
I smiled at everyone daily, greeting them at my door using their names.
I handed out public compliments they did nice things to others, at random times, so they had to pay attention.
I had small hand made notes for those in need of attention or support and never embarrassed them. Kindness, again.
When teaching, I would stop a lesson immediately and offer emotional support if someone wasn’t with us. They were more important than what I was teaching. Kindness, was always number one.
I really did love my students. It was also very easy for me to use kindness because it was second nature to me.
They also learned to their dismay, that kindness is not a weakness.
Gee, I loved those days and miss them! ?
I have often found that being kind is the ultimate “pay it forward” system. I have had strangers smile at me as we pass and I have spent my whole day trying to smile at some else back.
Again and again, kindness is never wasted, even if it appears so, because we are simply depositing it in a bank we cannot see and with results we may never witness ourselves. But they are there.
Again and again, we are not necessarily born knowing how to be gentle with ourselves or others. But we can learn, we can “pay it forward” so that maybe a tree will grow a little taller one day, and a person will carry themselves a little lighter and in turn help a stray dog or comfort a crying child.
Sometimes all we have to offer is scraps, but a little is enough, one small bandage at a time, one tiny gesture at a time, and that is enough. For if we all pay it forward than it is not small.
One smile at a time, one bank note at time, one person at a time. Pass it down the line– buy a stranger a snack, offer a kind word, understand that everyone is going through something. Everyone is trying their best in the ways they know how.
You lose nothing when you considerate to others, but what we all have to gain is monumental.
Photo by Sean Bonner on Flickr