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Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: The Kindness Project

Posted October 6, 2013

Sometimes themes keep coming up again and again in my life like reruns on a syndicated television show. Eventually, they force me to recognize them with their gentle subliminal tugs on my conscience. 

“Mommy, you know the best way to reduce stress?” my beyond-wise 10-year-old said to me from the backseat of the car the other day on the way to school.

“No, how?” I asked, genuinely curious as I glanced at her little blond head bobbing in the rear view mirror adorned with a glittery silver bow.

“By helping others,” she replied matter-of-factly. “It helps your heart.”

She heard this at school in the context of a conversation about a book they were reading called "Wonder," by R.J. Palacio, that documents the story of a boy with a facial deformity who is bullied by his peers. The author calls it a “meditation on kindness.”

In that vein, last week my daughter’s teacher held a special event where parents were invited to join their children for discussions and activities surrounding the book’s themes. As part of the event, we made “kindness wands.” Kindness wand

Affixed to each wand are instructions which encourage the holder to commit at least three acts of kindness and then pass the wand onto someone else to do the same. This made me think about intentional kindness. Sure, we would all like to think of ourselves as kind. We try to be kind. We want to be kind, but are we?

I’ve decided that I’m going to put the wand to good use. I’m going to look for opportunities - not just three, but every single day - to practice what it is asking me to do. I can’t make any promises, but I’m going to try to find at least one opportunity to be intentionally kind each day.

Who knows, I may even write about it. Wish me luck!

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

 

4 Comments

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  • thinkb4speak Oct 8, 2013

    I would also encourage people to recognize kindness that is given. I go out of my way on a daily basis to be kind and do nice things for people that I encounter throughout my day. It never ceases to amaze me as to how many people will receive a kindness and never even acknowledge it with a thank you. I don't do it for the gratitude and it doesn't stop me from continuing to do it. I would just suggest that a thank you is a kindness that should always be given!!

  • moo Oct 7, 2013

    I think there are so many opportunities to be helpful, kind and respectful that you will be able to do this with no problem. For example: I brought my six year old son to the dollar store the other day to pick up a few things and he desperately wanted to pay the cashier so I handed him the few dollars and coins to pay the gentleman. My son placed the money on the counter instead of the cashiers hand so I gave him instruction to always hand the money to the cashier, look him in the eye and say thank you. As we were leaving, I remembered an item that I needed to purchase so I went back to get it and again my son asked to pay the cashier. I handed him the dollar and coins and he looked at me and said, "I'll put it in his hand this time." As we were leaving the cashier thanked me for teaching my son to be kind & respectful to everyone and he noted that if he put a customer's change down on the counter instead of their hand there would be one upset customer. Simple kindness goes far.

  • ascherer Oct 7, 2013

    Some time an act of kindness is just a few words away. A smile, a hand to hold on to, a kind word can make someone else's life brighter. Holding a door open, holding the elevator a few seconds for someone else to get in. It is the little things that people remember and pay forward. Amanda, you can do this and in return you will smile because you helped someone else smile. Please write about it.

  • daves4545 Oct 6, 2013

    Best of luck Amanda. It isn't an easy task to be kind, or to find kindness in the world. So much strife and frustration in our lives has made us lose sight of the simple kindnesses that were once so common to us all. I only hope others will heed your words and follow your example. We all need some kindness now.