The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation marks out the week surrounding Feb 17th to create a greater awareness of the value and importance of kindness in the world. The theme this year is “Make Kindness the Norm.” It challenges us to imagine how the world would be if more of us made acts of kindness part of our daily habits. What if we made being kind to others a bigger priority in our lives and sought out opportunities to be kind to other people?
Last year, amid the turmoil leading up to President Biden’s inauguration, an old friend posted a letter a little girl in southwestern Pennsylvania wrote to him. She wished him well in his new job in her best handwriting with a brand new pencil. I had planned to write a post about her gesture of kindness last year at this time, but life happened as I made plans. However, I saved the photo, and I’ve looked at it several times over the year. Each time I felt the slight jump in my heart. When I saw it again a few weeks ago, I also remembered the quote I had saved along with the letter, “our days are happier when we give people a piece of our heart rather than a piece of our mind .” “author unknown.”
The idea of imagining how much different the world would be if we gave someone a piece of our heart instead of a piece of our mind stuck with me. According to the Random Acts of Kindness Organization, there are scientifically proven benefits to being kind. Kindness has lasting effects on the physical, mental and emotional development of both the giver and receiver of an act of kindness. To learn more, check out this 2 min video.
When we create a culture of kindness in our homes, classrooms, and communities, everyone benefits and grows. Along with calmer and more engaged learners, CASEL (the Collaborative for Academic and Social and Emotional Learning) reported that teachers who included SEL (social-emotional learning) programs in their instruction saw an 11-17% increase in the academic scores of their students. With all of these positive benefits to incorporating kindness into our lives, how can we not make the hashtag #MakeKindnessTheNorm a reality in our lives? If you’d like to dig in a bit deeper about how to incorporate more kindness in your life, check out the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website for more suggestions
#MakeKindnessTheNorm #RandomActsofKindnessDay #RAKDay#Raktivist
Research study: Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D. & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82(1): 405–432.