Pin It This is the 'Thought' of January for my students. I decided that I'd share it with my blogging friends as well...
Recently I’ve been thinking about the way we treat others and the kindness we show. When someone does something nice for us, what do we do afterwards? Often we thank them, feel good inside for a while, and have good memories about the event. But what happens after that? What type of difference do we make in the lives of others once someone has done something nice for us?
It’s often too easy to pass up untold opportunities each day in which we can make a positive difference for somebody else. I’m sure that we’ve all had a time in our lives when we were feeling low, depressed, or was just having a terrible day. Nobody else knew what a hard time we were having; and yet someone, sometimes anonymously, left us a kind note, a plate of cookies, gave us a phone call, or did something that just made our day a little brighter. We all remember how that felt, and yet do we give back that good to others?
There was a movie that came out a few years ago called Pay it Forward; it was about a young boy who decided that he would do something nice for five people. This thing that he would do would be something that those five people couldn’t do for themselves. When these individuals asked if they could pay him back, he would instead tell them not to pay it back, but to pay it forward. In other words, continue on the chain of kindness to others and help make a positive difference in the world.
A few years ago, some of my students and I were sitting in the lunchroom talking about this movie—and just how much we liked it—when a thought occurred to me. We watch movies like this, we enjoy their message because it makes us feel good, and more often than not we don’t take it any farther than that. We don’t incorporate what we’ve learned into our everyday behavior.
It is my hope that we will all be a little more aware of those around us. I hope we will reach out a little more, and remember that Christmas is not the only time in which we can show kindness to others. A school program I attended once proclaimed the motto, “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.” Let’s all try a little harder to make a positive difference for those around us.