Day 11: A – Z Challenge
Kindness is what’s needed. Kindness is a balm.
I spent Saturday at a faculty conference in Flagstaff, Arizona. I’ve been to plenty of these conferences over the years; I thought I knew what I might expect from attending.
I was wrong.
Yesterday I found a community of committed, like-minded, passionate teachers in my home state.
I found a tribe of kind, true friends. We bonded over our shared experiences in the classroom, and over the regrettable tenuousness of our positions in higher education. It’s a battlefield right now. Students are spending more than ever on education and fewer and fewer of those dollars are actually being spent on classroom learning. (I don’t know what is done with them, but we sure don’t see them.)
“My religion is kindness.” — The Dalai Lama
One colleague came down to the table where our panel was (I spoke alongside other colleagues from throughout the state) and stood behind us, in solidarity, validating what we reported to the group as her ‘experience’ too.
At lunch, we round-tabled with teachers from across the state, sharing ideas and experiences, learning more about ‘best practices’ to help us move forward.
After the conference ended, we joined up with three other colleagues from a sister campus and had a boisterous dinner of Texas BBQ in downtown Flagstaff.
Later, as we drove out of town, the city lights faded and I marveled at the hundred million stars stretching out as far as I could see on both sides of the highway.
I thought, “This was a very good day.”
And it was.
Heart to Heart. One by One.
Most of what’s best about this life comes from connecting, one living being to another.
My heart cannot be changed by words, unless the intention behind those words is pure, kind, open.
I think sometimes we forget that there’s almost nothing better than holding someone’s hand.
My animals don’t have to be taught this. They come to the world as pure love, as a loving-kindness meditation, as a soft reminder: be kind, be true.
Deliberate Acts of Kindness.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ― Plato
There is so much that is unkind in this world. There is so much that stings and hurts.
However, it costs nothing to be kind.
A kind word. A kind action. A kind deed.
These things can change the whole day, the whole week, the whole world.
Drop by drop by drop —
So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and overburdened and overworked and overdone, send a note of encouragement to someone else.
Take a lovely meal to someone who’s shut in.
Buy a coffee for the person in line behind you.
Fund a Kiva loan so a woman in Kenya can start her own business and pull her family out of poverty.
Write those thank you letters you’ve been meaning to.
Just. Do. It.
I guarantee you’ll feel better if you do.
And the world will be a little less dark, a little less scary, a little less bitter because of you.
© 2015 Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved
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