The ripple of kindness.

Kindness is soft. It’s gentle and fills our hearts with a sense of ease.
It feels calm yet vibrant all at the same time.
It’s love and compassion bundled into the same package.

But what does it mean to be kind?

Today is pink shirt day.
Today is the day that we wear a pink shirt to encourage conversation around bullying. We do this to break the stigma, bring awareness to a common theme and educate future generations on how to be kind and how to put and end to these cycles.

It’s days like this that I feel lucky to be working in a career where I’m on the front line. Where I witness children of the next generations learning how to be kind to one another and hold space for each other’s growth.

Today I had the opportunity to ask a few students what their definition of kindness was. With giggles and toy cars crashing in the background I couldn’t help but think- this is where it all begins.

“I think it means to be nice to your friends.”
“I think it’s when you give your friend a gift.”
“I think it’s when you say a nice thing.”

We worked on compliments today. Teaching them how to give and receive. Some of them felt shy as they shared something nice about their friend. But they lit up with vulnerability while embracing this activity.

“I like the way you smile.”
“I like that you make me happy.”
“I like that you let me play with that toy.”

My heart filled with so much love today watching all of this take place. I felt this sense of connection and belonging because of the unity of the school.

Coming together today to talk about bullying brought forward a connection. And a chance to make a difference.

The grade sevens put on a play of a children’s book in support of the LGBTQ community, celebrating differences and inclusion.
We heard a former BC lions football player talk about his past encounters with bullying and we watched a video that showed how the power of one kind gesture creates a ripple effect which floods into the world.

Kindness is equality.
Kindness is connection.
Kindness is inclusion.
Kindness is sharing.
Kindness is understanding.
Kindness is support.
Kindness is who we are.

We have the power to choose to be kind and lead with love. Yet somehow through the ride of life we ALL have fallen into the bullying trap. It hurts being the one on the receiving end and it hurts being the bully.

Bully’s are people who also have the choice to be kind. But they are hurting inside. There is something inside of them that they don’t understand how to deal with. They don’t feel seen or heard themselves and they are battling something we know nothing about.

It’s true what they say- hurt people, hurt people.

So how do we end this?
How can we raise children to be kind in a world where bullying still exists?
How can we teach them to love themselves so deeply that a bully’s words won’t even matter?

We talk about it. We break the stigma. We wear the pink shirts and educate one another- we spread the word to continue the movement. But the thing WE need to do is to be role models. To show, to speak, to adapt kindness into all areas of our lives. Not just on one day – but every chance we get!

I will be kind and loving even on my bad days.
Choose to be compassionate for people who are still learning.
Model how to be kind and have boundaries at the same time.
Speak kindly to myself and about others.
And always remember to smile at strangers.
Because that’s the power I have to create a change and a lasting impression on little eyes of the next generation.

Kindness is the ripple in the water that the world needs.