Loss is hard. Whether it is of a spouse, a child, a friend, or a pet. We carry a hole with us where that loved one was. But when we sit and consider that relationship and dwell on the things about it for which we are grateful, the loss hurts a bit less.
Smiles replace tears. Warm memories flood our senses. Laughter surprises us. We remember ways we’ve grown or blossomed because of that relationship. Gratitude replaces hurt or anger or grief.
We remember that, yes, we had to say goodbye, but how lucky we were to say hello.
Our hearts start to heal.
What if kindness were contagious? Spreading from person to person like the most virulent flu? How might that transform a community or, even, the world?
In this classroom, kindergarteners are spreading kindness all around:
Some people might say that kindness isn’t a characteristic as common to American society as it once was.
Nevertheless, it’s standard procedure for a group of young students in one little corner of Texas County, as Plato Elementary School kindergarten teacher Amy Hathaway leads her class in an ongoing project called the “Kindness Konnection.”
Execution of the idea is three-fold: Kids mail cheerful letters to people all over the U.S., take walks to visit elderly “friends” around the Plato community and pick up trash during their outings. The first two aspects allow the students an unusual opportunity to make peoples’ days better.
“We have heard from many people who said they were having a bad day and got a letter,” Hathaway said. “They ask, ‘why me?’ I say we just do it to be nice.”
These five-year olds are spreading ripples of kindness that are reaching out across the country and making other people’s lives better. Those ripples are causing other people to send out ripples and so on and so on and so on. Their teacher marvels at the results of her little kindness experiment:
“I don’t know how not to any more,” she said. “It’s one of the most fantastic things I’ve ever done in my life. Instead of just teaching the kids to be nice, we’ve learned what friendship really is.
“We can all make a difference in this world; even a small child has the power to influence others. Kids are the greatest thing in the world, and I love sharing them with people.”
We can all send out ripples of kindness into our world. Those ripples may well create a tsunami of kindness.