This week’s kindness project was inspired by my daughter’s softball coach. At the end of the season, during their pizza party, her coach gave each softball player a certificate for hard work and sportsmanship. She called each girl up to present the certificate and as she did, she commented on the special attributes that player brought to the team. Whether they were the “life of the party” or “worked hard,” each player was celebrated for their unique contributions to the team. After being honored, each girl sat back down with a big smile on their face. What I really loved about this celebration was that it was less about the team’s achievement and all about how special and valuable each child was to the team.
This week was the last week of our elementary school year, and I wanted my older daughter to think about what made her eighteen other kindergarten classmates special. I referenced the softball team celebration as we started chatting, and we spent a bit of time talking about each of her classmates. She then created simple thank you notes and drawings for each of them describing what she thought was special about each of her friends. This was an awesome exercise, as I noticed my daughter mindfully pausing to really think about what made each classmate special. I was blown away by some of the responses she came up with. Here are just a few examples of what she came up with. “You are special because…
- you stop when people are hurt and say are you ok.”
- you tell really funny jokes.”
- you make the best inventions.”
The notes for her close friends were easier for her to write up. What was more thought-provoking and important in some ways was thinking about the friends she is less close with. She also decided to write a couple of notes for her teacher and her teacher’s aide to include them in the mix. This exercise was a great reminder for all of us, especially us bigs, to sometimes take a moment to notice the positive attributes of people around us.
“The universe is filled with countless stars. Each star has an important place in the universe, they are unique. Like a star, every single person has a special place in this world.”