Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

I love Will's elementary school.

The public schools were one of the primary reasons we chose College Station over our other options when it came time to leave Michigan, and the specific elementary school Will now attends was one of the primary reasons we chose to buy a house in our current neighborhood. I couldn't be happier with our choice of city, school district, and elementary school, for a variety of reasons.

One small example? The "Kindness Club".

A month or so ago, Will informed me of his plans to join his school's Kindness Club. From what I understand, the club's monthly meetings involve talking about what it means to be kind, the different forms kindness takes, and how to bestow kindness on both friends and strangers. The club also coordinates activities to promote kindness throughout the school. (To be clear, I understand this to be the purpose and function of the Kindness Club through my own research. When I asked Will about the purpose and function of the Kindness Club, he answered, "I go into a room at recess with other kids and we make kindness projects like hands". Whatever that means.)

While driving to baseball practice, Will and I took turns coming up with examples of random acts of kindness. I offered up one about plugging strangers' expired parking meters, and then it was Will's turn.

"Let's say you're a farmer and every morning you have to milk five cows. So you go outside and milk your five cows and when you have five buckets of milk you go back inside to finish your breakfast. Then you see out the window that your neighbor - who's also a farmer and also has five cows to milk every morning - had to leave his house before he finished milking his cows. He left after he milked four cows so he only had four buckets of milk. You go over to his farm while he's gone and fill up the fifth bucket of milk, so that when he comes home from karate he has five buckets of milk. Now that's a random act of kindness."

Yes, that's a random act of kindness. But I was hoping Will would come up with random acts of kindness we could actually DO. I may be from Wisconsin, but I'm as far from a dairy farmer as one can get - I've never set foot on a working farm, and I've only tried milking a cow once, in second grade, on a field trip to the University of Wisconsin Large Animal Veterinary School. It's unlikely that any random acts of kindness in which I participate will involve farms.  Or cows.  Or milk.  Oh well.

Then it was Hallie's turn.

"I'm at the doctor's office and there's a mommy with a baby in her tummy there and she's getting the baby cut out of her tummy with scissors and it hurts. So I help it not hurt."

I'm not sure Hallie's quite ready for club membership.

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