WHAT IS KINDNESS?
Kindness is being concerned about the welfare of others. Kindness is showing you care about anyone or anything that crosses your path. You can be kind to people, to animals, and to the environment. Kindness means to care for others and the earth as much as or more than you care about yourself.
Kindness is shown in small gestures that brighten people’s lives, times you care for an animal, daily ways you show concern for the earth. Kindness is showing love to someone who is sad or needs your help.
WHY PRACTICE KINDNESS?
Without kindness no one would listen when people or animals need help. Everyone would be looking out for herself. The world is lonely without kindness. When someone reaches out to another in an act of kindness, it helps them both.
People’s selfishness and lack of kindness to the earth has caused damage to the air, the water, the land. This has brought suffering to people and animals too. Being kind allows us to feel the connectedness we have with all other things. Being kind makes things better for every one of us.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE KINDNESS?
You practice kindness by noticing when someone or something needs care. You become sensitive to the world around you. Use your imagination to think of things that give others happiness—your parents, your friends, your teachers, your brothers and sisters, and even the people you don’t know very well. Find out what habits harm or help the environment and choose kinder ways.
When you are tempted to be cruel, to criticize or tease, you decide not to do it (even with your own brothers and sisters!) You accept people who are different or handicapped instead of ignoring them or teasing them. When you are practicing kindness, you take really good care of your pets.
What would Kindness look like if…
- A new student comes into your class and looks lonely?
- You start teasing your brother and he is getting upset?
- Some kids you have been playing with start teasing a boy with big ears?
- You cat has some burrs in her fur?
- Your mother seems tired lately?
- You see someone in a wheel chair coming toward you?
Congratulations! You are practicing Kindness when you…
- Give tender attention to someone who is sad or needs help.
- Do things to give others happiness.
- Practice habits that help the environment (reduce, re-use, recycle).
- Resist the temptation to be cruel.
- Accept people who are different.
I am kind. I look for ways to help others. I show kindness to any person or animal I see. I do all I can to take care of the earth.
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A Tip From The Virtues Coach.
Virtues Project Master Facilitator and Certified Life Coach
Kindness is a virtue AND a practice. The more we use it, the more we spot it, the better we get at it with ourselves and others. When we see our kids being kind, let them know by describing to them what you saw. It’s a simple, but powerful practice and helps us all grow kindness.
Here are a few examples of how to acknowledge your kids practicing kindness:
- I saw your kindness today when you gave grandma a neck rub.
- Thank you for your kindness in noticing I need help carrying these bags.
- I see you are practicing kindness for the earth by using a reusable water bottle.
Look for everyday acts of kindness from your kids. Acknowledging the acts provides positive reinforcement and validates their choice to learn about AND practice virtues.
When you recognize an act of kindness in another person, it’s an act of kindness too!
Kindness in Action
Watch as the camera tracks an act of kindness as its passed from one individual to the next and manages to boomerang back to the person who set it into motion.
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