Kindness is in fact contagious.....
I received an email from my 8 year old daughter's teacher telling me about the kindness she witnessed in my daughter and her friends today. The teacher let a group of girls know that a classmate was being left out of activities at recess and my daughter, along with the rest of the group, brainstormed how they could make the student feel welcome. They then made sure she was included for the rest of recess. The teacher said it was wonderful to see them using empathy to include the girl. Of course this may not have happened if the teacher had not facilitated this act, so the act of kindness really started with the teacher, and was passed onto the students. As I read about this act on my phone, I saw a guy on the street holding a sign that said he had lost his job because he was a burn victim. I was in a restaurant and because I was out of his sight, I was able to watch him and witness that nobody walking by was even looking at him - let alone reading his sign. I realized that I often do the same thing while walking by people who may be in distress.....always in a rush or just desensitized to a very common scene in Washington, DC. But as I watched this young guy, after having just read the email from my daughter's teacher, I thought that he might be in need of a smile and a small contribution. I stopped by and told him that I hope he gets everything sorted out soon, smiled, and gave him some money. He smiled back and thanked me sincerely. When I arrived home tonight I told my daughter that I was proud of her actions today, and that her acts of kindness in turn made me think about what I could also do to be kind. My daughter told me that she really enjoyed her friend's company (the one who was left out) and that it was not a big deal. She said "oh, she is just shy but after I taught her how to do gymnastics she felt really comfortable and had fun."

I know giving money to people does not equal kindness but what was touching about this whole situation is that my daughter's actions, kindly facilitated and reported by the teacher, created a chain of kindness. It made me realize that kindness is in fact contagious...and that one simple act really can have a ripple effect. Thank you my dear girl for making me remember that. I love you! xoxo

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