Here at Self Development Academy, we serve families at four campuses from all different backgrounds, races, beliefs, etc. In the midst of such rich diversity, there’s one thing we can all agree on: it’s been a doozy of a year. For students, teachers, staff, and parents, who have all faced challenges, fears, and conflict through this time, kindness matters.
We value kindness, and we promise to continuously work on showing it to others and ourselves.
But what, exactly, is kindness?
Kind-ness and kindness
The word kind refers to a group united by common traits or interests. When we see others as similar to ourselves, the Golden Rule easily applies: Treat others as you would like to be treated. Perhaps it’s when our commonalities aren’t as obvious to us that kindness is needed most.
For us adults, a neighbor whose yard signs don’t align with our values or how we voted can easily be seen as disconnected from us or our chosen community. Generally, are you more likely to smile and wave at a car with a bumper sticker of your alma mater or a rival school?
Our children might assume the same kind-ness that we do. They also have their own peer groups and communities where they will naturally gravitate toward those who are like them. How can we teach them to show kindness, especially toward people who are different from them? How can we be intentional in our own lives?
Have ongoing conversations with your children around how we can all show kindness and why it’s even important:
- When has someone shown me kindness? How did it make me feel?
- Whom is it hardest for me to be kind toward?
- Who do I think needs kindness today?
- How can I show kindness to myself today?
- Do we have to earn kindness from someone, or should it be freely given?
- How does kindness change the recipient? How does kindness change the person giving it?
- Who is a historical figure known for their kindness? Who is someone in your personal life that you think of as especially kind?
As you and your children talk about and set your intentions on being kind, remember that actions speak louder than words.
Good deeds of all kinds
While the world can use all the positivity and care we can muster, choosing kindness makes a remarkable impact. Consider the difference between kindness and other forms of courtesy.
Friendliness says, “Hi! How are you?” while passing by. Kindness stops, looks you in the eye, asks how you are, and listens to your answer.
Empathy sees you wallowing in the mud and sits down to join you in the muck. Kindness notices the muddy situation and reaches out a hand to pull you out.
Helpfulness carries the groceries to the car for a mom with a baby. Kindness does the same, but also encourages her that she’s doing a great job.
Generosity brings home-cooked chicken noodle soup to the neighbors when they’re sick. Kindness remembers that they’re gluten free and makes sure they are rice noodles!
When we show kindness in our own unique ways to the people around us, it makes a difference. Join us in making this a priority. Our SDA schools – and each of our own communities – will be stronger for it. It takes all kinds, and it takes kindness.
If you are looking for a school that offers engaging and fun online classes, contact us at (480) 641-2640 or (602) 274-1910 to get more information about our K-8 nationally awarded charter school of excellence with an advanced learning curriculum. In addition to online learning, we have campuses in Phoenix, Glendale, Gilbert, and Mesa.