It is interesting to consider what others believe kindness to be. Like in a poll of a 100 people ( Family Fortunes-esque) what would be the “top answer”? When I wrote Kindness on the board today, and discretely asked individual pupils to go up and write the first thing that came into their head when I said the word kindness, I wasn’t surprised by their responses.
The usual additions: “doing something nice for someone else”, “cheering someone up”, “making someone feel good inside”…all appeared on my board. I felt a sense of pride as they came up one by one adding beautiful words in many guises of handwriting. Until one young man arrived at my board, and quite matter of fact wrote the words, “Kindness is kindness”. He smiled at me and sat down. I followed him as I heard others laugh under their breath… “kindness is kindness!” He sat down, I knelt in front of him to make eye contact, ” Jacob, I think that is my favourite phrase upon the board today.” The scoffing stopped and puzzled looks appeared on their faces. I continued with the quietest of voices, ” what did you mean by that?”
” Miss, kindness is kindness- its lots of things that mean lots of things- its simple really.”
And with that he smiled, and put his head down to continue reading his book. Kindness is simple, yet it is many things, to many different people, at many different times in their lives. Profound of Jacob and he touched my heart. That’s the magical essence of teaching, it touches hearts.