Saturday, October 23, 2010

# Kindness is ContagEous

On October 7th I warned of my unleashing. Click HERE to read.

Then, on October 8th I Tweeted over 50 tweets, in a row, on the subjects of tolerance, kindness and compassion with the hashtag: #kindnessiscontageous

After I tweeted my last tweet I noticed my flagrant misspelling of the word contagious. E instead of I...over and over again. Whatev. That's just how I am - spelling sometimes escapes me in very public ways.

Anyway, a few nights ago, Beyonce's sister, Solange Knowles tweeted her thoughts on bullying and I tried to lead her to the #kindnessiscontageous tweet stream...AND THEY WERE ALL GONE! Apparently I don't know how to keep a hashtag going. Which sucks.

I had an idea. I could post the tweets here, for public reading.

Please look past the E as you read. You'll get used to it.

Please share this post with anyone you think may benefit. Please.

Oh and evidently I am SOOOOOOOO on the money about kindness being contagious. Read all about it HERE.

----------------------------------------------------

#kindnessiscontageous So it begins. Can you stay with me, Twitter? Every 30 seconds…until I’m spent.

#kindnessiscontageous So, I promised last night that I was going to unleash today…

#kindnessiscontageous So, I’ve read a ton of hideous things in the news about bullying and the even more hideous consequences…

#kindnessiscontageous So, cruelty is real and has YOUNG human faces. And I have a lot to say about it.

#kindnessiscontageous So, I’ve read a fantastic opinion post on the subject from author Jay Asher: http://tiny.cc/3p2j6

#kindnessiscontageous So, I feel compelled to share my thoughts.I have a lot of them.They are from a former teacher & Camp Kindness owner.

#kindnessiscontageous So, who am I? I taught for 10ys in a public middle school & taught second grade for 2ys.Bullying was apparent each yr.

#kindnessiscontageous So, I made teaching kindness and compassion JOB #1 in my former middle school classroom. Job #1.

#kindnessiscontageous So teaching children kindness & compassion was the foundation of my classroom. Without it we were all just existing.

#kindnessiscontageous Some kids came to me every yr as jerks, full of rage, bullies, turds, out of control, heartless, racist, homophobic.

#kindnessiscontageous And I knew (and believed) it was my duty–as an “adult of influence” in their lives–I had to teach them ALL to be kind.

#kindnessiscontageous I KNOW I am not alone in this thinking.

#kindnessiscontageous When “Alex” called “Sam” a fag I had to put the chalk down & address the human beings in my presence. How could I NOT?

#kindnessiscontageous When “Ashley” called “Kell” an elephant I had to shine the light on it...so everyone could learn kindness.

#kindnessiscontageous When “Ted” called “Chris” the N-word there was NO WAY I was turning away from that…not when minds could be changed.

#kindnessiscontageous When the autistic kid got snickered at behind his back I had to have a meaningful conversation with the snicker’ers.

#kindnessiscontageous Teachers: We are with our students almost every weekday for nine months...

#kindnessiscontageous Teachers: We are presented with countless opportunities to revolutionize our student’s minds. To INSPIRE them.

#kindnessiscontageous Teachers: It IS the teacher’s job to remove the obstacles of cruelty &hatred in a way that lessons are learned by all.

#kindnessiscontageous Teachers:Without a safe environment, learning feels like a monumental task, that hill you just can’t get your bike up.

#kindnessiscontageous Teachers: The power isn’t in the time it takes but in the feelings the conversation/discussion evokes.

#kindnessiscontageous Teachers: Imagine the power that lies in healthy discussion coupled with an impressionable child.

#kindnessiscontageous We Adults have to open our eyes…open our ears. We can NOT turn away and think someone else will address it.

#kindnessiscontageous See…children have to be taught how to be kind and compassionate. It doesn’t come naturally to many.

#kindnessiscontageous Taught by the adults in their life. Parents. Teachers. Coaches. Aunts. Uncles. Grandparents.

#kindnessiscontageous When ADULTS show kindness through example…that leaves a lasting impression upon children. By example, everyone.

#kindnessiscontageous Bullies must understand potential consequences of their bullying behavior. How, you ask?

#kindnessiscontageous …by thoughtfully crafted, age appropriate experiences/discussions allowing them feel or understand the victim’s pain.

#kindnessiscontageous The adults in children’s lives have the RESPONSIBILITY to discuss potential consequences of bullying behavior.

#kindnessiscontageous By adults I mean parents–teachers–coaches–principals–aunts–uncles–gparents. How can you not teach about compassion?

#kindnessiscontageous I don’t want to hear the excuse: it isn’t “my” responsibility. I dismiss that 100%. Whose responsibility is it then?

#kindnessiscontageous Everyday statements, moments & interactions arise when human beings are together; moments that need addressing.

#kindnessiscontageous Adults must make time to explicitly teach kindness and compassion. No excuses, because there aren’t any good enough.

#kindnessiscontageous Adults: Take the risk and talk about kindness with the children in your life. Be uncomfortable. Force yourself.

#kindnessiscontageous Christina Lee: When I was a teacher, there were hundreds of "teachable moments" in a day. Most of all, I taught not to hate or judge!

#kindnessiscontageous Adults: If YOU were a bully…now is the time to make it right. Talk to the children in your life about compassion.

#kindnessiscontageous Adults: Buck the system. Go out on a limb. Abandon your fears. Shut your inner voice up & go save/influence a life.

#kindnessiscontageous Adults: TALK TO THE CHILDREN IN YOUR LIFE about how bullying affects the other human being.

#kindnessiscontageous Adults: SHOW THE CHILDREN IN YOUR LIFE what kindness looks like.

#kindnessiscontageous Adults: SHOW THE CHILDREN IN YOUR LIFE what kindness sounds like.

#kindnessiscontageous Christina Lee: With my child, we talk about all of the prejudice he's already witnessing: race, sexual orientation, weight and age.

#kindnessiscontageous Adults: SHOW THE CHILDREN IN YOUR LIFE what kindness feels like.

#kindnessiscontageous Adults: The next tweets will be discussion questions to ask the children in your life. Get the discussion started…

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – what do I really get from making another human being feel awful? Is it really worth it?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – would I want to feel the way my victim is feeling right now? No? Then why do I do it?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – why can’t I accept people who are different from me?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – what makes me intentionally rip people’s hearts out with my words and actions? Why do I do it?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – why do I feel the need to say hurtful/degrading/evil things to a fellow human being?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself –do I make nasty faces at other people? Do I snicker? Point and laugh? Guess what? That hurts too.

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – why am I so angry?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – what would make me stop bullying?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – how can I make things right with the human beings I’ve bullied?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – how would I feel if someone I bullied decided to end their life…because of me?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – do I need to talk to an adult about what I’ve done/said to other human beings?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – have I ever just let bullying happen in my presence? Why didn’t I stop it?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Ask yourself – if I see bullying happen in my presence and I want to stop it…HOW can I actually do that?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS:Ask yourself–have I ever tried to put myself in the victim’s shoes? Feel their pain, humiliation, embarrassment?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Think About – You can’t be good friends with everyone. But you CAN treat everyone with dignity & respect.

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Think About – What would the world be like if we humans were all completely identical? Would you like it?

#kindnessiscontageous KIDS: Think About -You can't be a good person if you don't think of other people and their feelings; plain and simple.

#kindnessiscontageous And that is all for today.

Too bad I spelled contagious wrong all morning on my #kindnessiscontagEous tweet fest. That is so me.