RAKtivist: Chelsea

Large chelsea
sign in to favorite this story

The first time my daughter looked out the window to see a grizzled man leaning on a crutch, with dirty clothes and disheveled hair, she asked, “What does that man’s sign say?” Though generally quick with an answer, I struggled to explain why people simply drive by and ignore a person in need. Think about it...that’s a tough one. If the greatest gift we could give another is to truly see them, how could I tell my daughter---who will most surely change the world for the better!---a bunch of platitudes about not being able to help everyone? If every creature is truly part of the web of life, as Chief Seattle said, and whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves, what message am I conveying to my daughter?

Facing countless Universe-expanding questions such as these has brought me clearly into focus on tenderness, empathy, tolerance and kindness.

In my role as middle school principal, I have the opportunity to bring this focus to my work with thousands of young people. Our school is based on philanthropy and we have a strong focus on giving back to our community in countless ways. Teachers understand the value of making time for social-emotional learning alongside academic curricula and counselors teach character, communication, coping, and decision-making skills to support students as they face the challenges of adolescence. In fact, our teachers take their jobs so seriously that it has become my job to remind them of the need for balance and self-care. All of our meetings begin with showers of praise, include team-building fun and focus on unity. Staff feels connected, students feel accepted and we are spreading goodness a thousandfold!

Today my daughter and I travel with care kits---full of socks, lip balm, snack bars---to hand to people in need. We pick up trash anywhere we see it, recycle and compost with ferocity. We shovel our elderly neighbor’s driveway and maintain a Little Free Library in our neighborhood. We observe the tables around us when dining out and secretly pay their bill. We leave sticky notes of love on cars in parking lots and smile at everyone we meet.

I am spreading kindness through my thoughts, words and actions and I am encouraging everyone I meet to do the same. Our students are influencing others and they, in turn, are influencing even more people. I feel the web shifting as the threads of kindness are taking over and it fills me with incredible hope for the future!

Other stories you might like to read:

0

Volunteer With Your Church

my church has a program called road crew. we go out one Saturday of the month and give meals to the homeless. this is a great idea because the homeless can rely on at least one meal a week. it is so gratifying to see their faces light up when you give them their meal.

Read Story

6

My friends and I help at a soup kitchen

For about a year now I've been helping out a Philadelphia soup kitchen called Grace Cafe. http://archstreetumc.org/what-we-do/ministry/grace-cafe/ It's run by the Arch Street United Methodist Church in central Philly. I found out about it through a Philadelphia volunteering website. I was hooked on it from the first time I went. They give out around 200 meals every Sunday to those...

Read Story

9

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Olivia

My best friend, Abby, from my swim team. Comforted me when I was really upset about missing a cut time by four tenths of a second.

Read Story

7

Story #1

Today while I was shopping at Sam's (it's like Walmart) a random employee came up to me, gave me a rose and said," I think you should have this and walked away. " This made me feel so happy and good. The earth is a wonderful and full of kind people!!!!

Read Story

Thumb houston

RAKtivist: Houston

Kindness is a practice.

About 6 years ago, I was on a plane next to a woman who was relentlessly energetic and fidgety. I was tired and wanted to take a nap. But before I could go into “ignore mode,” she tapped me on the shoulder to introduce herself.

“Hi, my name is Helga!”

We got...

Read Story

0

Taking for granted

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and I woke up to -9 degrees. A friend posted about some things what a homeless shelter needed. As I sat in my warm house I became upset with myself for taking heat for granted. I got dressed and went right to the store and took all the extra money I had and purchased bags of...

Read Story

2

To Celebrate Kindness Week, I Gave Myself a Wake-Up Call

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to a wonderfully great initiative called “Random Act of Kindness Week.” Random Act of KindnessThe name speaks for itself – it’s a call to action to show kindness, in some capacity, for 7 days. There is a foundation in Denver that spearheads this directive. Its charge: Take this week to step out...

Read Story

Thumb 1518455136 img 0853

Who's Your One?

Submitted by jack abbott

My incredible partner, the love of my life, inspires me every day. She's always striving and pushing for us to do our very best. Never settles. She supports me no matter what kind of mood I'm in. She loves us unconditionally. Donna is my dream come true. I don't want to think about what my life might be like without...

Read Story

Thumb 1518454552 889d6fc6 07e7 4554 9701 ff9ce27852a0

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Alyssa Reed

My one is my best friend Brooke. She’s always been here for me when i was down, or needed a friend, or just wanted a friend to be with me. Sometimes she made me feel better and helped me even when she wasn’t aware that I was hurting and resend help. She makes me laugh until my stomach hurts, and...

Read Story

Thumb cara cover

RAKtivist: Cara

When I graduated from college I dreamed of being a television news reporter. Having no experience I had to start small: at a dinky little cable station in Naples, Florida, a town I had never heard of before. I put my time in covering sea turtle rescues and unknown celebrities until I finally got my big break in the form...

Read Story

Thumb 1518808715 image1

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Amanda

My life partner always acts as fuel when my fire seems to be dimming. He always keeps me motivated and encourage. I never knew how impactful words of encouragement could be until I meet him. My job role is one of which I am look upon to encourage others. His guidance and kind words has help me tremendously with my...

Read Story

Thumb 1518809608 img 3518

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Steve

My one is my wife, Lisa. She is the most compassionate person I know. She has helped me to center my existence and realize the role we all play in things like Random Acts of Kindness. I was always too wrapped up in my own issues, my own life, my own troubles. Lisa helped me to realize that letting go...

Read Story

8

Who's Your One?

Submitted by bella rasinski

my "one" is my mom. everybody loves her and everytime she walks into a room seh just lights it up with her attitude and even if she's mad at you or upset she will do anything in the world to make you smile.

Read Story

Thumb marie cover

RAKtivist: Marie

I’m Marie. I’m a wife, mother, visual artist and cancer survivor. I grew up in Appalachia with very humble roots. My parents used to have my older sister pay for my school lunch because I would give my money away every day to others and come home hungry. Even at an early age, I loved the feeling of giving.

Three...

Read Story

Thumb 1518454230 1c0fd71c 36c3 44bc bc70 6497c4d06081

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Allyson

My boyfriend. He inspires me everyday to be the best person i can be. He believes in me no matter how much i dont believe in myself. Thanks to him, i have accomplished so much. I’m so thankful to have someone so supportive by my side

Read Story

14

bullying madness it never stops

I had a friend and by the same bully she got name called and bothered by everyone in class to make her go faster and now also they keep doing it and she feels hurt and doesn't do a thing about it how odd

Read Story

See All Kindness Stories