Walt Disney once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
That works well for amusement parks, but it also works well in the realm of kindness.
Alicia Stewart is a mom who feels frustrated with the way girls sometimes treat each other. When she saw it happening in her daughter’s second-grade classroom, she decided to put together a retreat for girls that would focus on their self-esteem and compassion toward others.
She is done talking and ready to begin “doing,” and as Alicia excitedly shared with me, the lessons she is preparing for the school are already having an impact in her own home.
“I finally had a discussion with my kids and told them what I am planning. We talked about how mean girls can be to each other and how we are going to attempt to change that. The first thing my daughter said was, ‘Thank you so much! That is going to make my life so much easier!’
“A couple days later my son, Chancie, came home from school waving a bag in his hand yelling ‘Look what I got for Alex! Look what I got for Alex!’
“Alex is a boy in his class that he has mentioned on numerous occasions. Chancie told us one of his fifth-grade teachers often has to give him string as a belt to hold his pants up and has bought him sweatpants in the past. Chancie was also upset one day when he felt like another teacher was playing favorites. When two boys asked the same question, Alex got in trouble while the other student did not.
“Well, my son noticed Alex’s shoes were loose and flapping on the bottom and giving him blisters because they were too small. Chancie wanted to give him his old (but still very nice) shoes, but Alex didn’t wear that size. He asked Alex what size shoes he wears and what his favorite color is. With the help of Chancie’s granny, who brings him home every day, Chancie bought Alex a brand new pair of shoes!
“He was so excited to take them to him at school. With the help of his teacher, Alex got the shoes without the whole class knowing. Alex told Chancie they were the best shoes he has ever had!
“Chancie says the conversation we had about kids (mostly girls) not being kind to each other was what inspired him to give Alex new shoes.”
Talking that leads to doing can create an excitement for kindness that is contagious and just might mean a making few new friends.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. Her column runs every Friday. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.