First Sandy Hook. Then the nightmarish Steubenville rape that still has my stomach reeling. More recently the Alabama kidnapping of a five year old that left a heroic bus driver dead. If you don't know what I'm talking about, count yourself lucky. In two months, there's been enough horribleness to last us for decades. And it never seems to stop.
There just seems to be so much heartache in the world. So much inhumanity. The shooting of innocent children and school staff of Sandy Hook was devastating enough, but Steubinville really got to me. I just couldn't understand how people could be so cruel. So heartless. So completely and totally inhumane. And honestly, stories like these leave me feeling discouraged. Defeated.
And really, really sad.
Thank God for Buddy the Elf (yes—I do like Buddy the Elf). Shortly after the Sandy Hook tragedy, he posted this article detailing 26 moments that restored our faith in humanity. Stories about a doctor offering up free medical care to victims of Hurricane Sandy. And others that just helped however they could
Stories about the Disney guard who requests autographs of visiting princesses, people rescuing animals. Communities coming together. After Sandy Hook, I so needed to read that. These stories left me slightly more uplifted. A little more restored.
And a lot more…hopeful.
And I know - despite all the bad stuff going on in the world, there is a lot of good. And while I don't live under a rock with closed-minded idealism and ignore what's going out there, I have to focus on the good. The kind acts. The positive. It's what always has gotten me through my days and years at my teaching job. I can choose to focus on the negative, or I can be uplifted by the positive. Focusing on what's right in my classroom and in the world sometimes is what truly keeps me going. I have to look to the kindness of others. I'm inspired by the kindness of others. They give me hope that not all is lost and cruel and completely inhumane.
I sometimes get a case of the What Can I Do? syndrome, but I also know that kindness wrapped in small packages can have such a HUGE impact. I read the Starbucks pay-it-forward stories. Or Oprah's list of 35 random acts of kindness (totes stealing number four this week for Valentine's Day). My blogging friend, Jessica Silverstein has designated February her month to make a compliment a day, and I'm following in her footsteps.
So, if this cruel world's getting you down, too, look to the kindness of others. If you do something kind for someone, share it. And if someone does something kind for you, if someone compliments you—no matter the act—share it. Post it on facebook. Tweet about it. Tell the rest of us about it in the comments. Share it with SOMEONE.
Hopefully our kindness stories can give others hope for humanity. And inspire ourselves and others to keep paying those kind acts forward.
Have you done something kind for someone lately? Has someone done something kind for you? Share it with us in the comments!