Longing For Kindness & Connection

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Lately I’ve been thinking about our longing for kindness and connection.

As opportunities to feed that longing appear, I’m finding that Mother Teresa was on to something; it’s about being in the moment and noticing. Here now, six kindness & connection (KC) examples; God’s kindness has truly been humbling, healing, and hopeful. 

KC 1: In one of the SEL breakouts at ASCA, a compassionate mindset shift around the power of words that could make ALL the difference for our school families: Instead of referring to behaviors as “challenging,” this school in Kentucky calls them “unexpected” behaviors. So you have your expected behaviors and your unexpected behaviors, a small shift that I imagine could make a BIG difference in your school culture. 💜

KC 2: On Monday, a friend sent a link to Survival of the Kindest, Susan Cain’s incredible interview on Kate Bowler’s podcast. I really connect to how minor-key music can help us become more self-aware and feel all the feelings. Have you seen how this toddler emotes at hearing his sister play the melancholy Moonlight Sonata?
KC 3: Another friend saw that I posted a Parker Palmer quote on FB, so she brought me two of his books to read. Thoughtfulness for the win.

a gorgeous reminder to nourish that longing.

This sweet story, written by college-aged author Sophia R. Tyler and brilliantly illustrated by Matthew Sample, finds a hurried little mouse (with a huge heart but even bigger problems) scurrying through life and trying desperately to self-regulate while working with intention to hold on to his job; with its unexpected ending, expect this tale to plant and grow seeds of empathy, compassion and kindness in your heart and soul. A bonus in the back, some discussion questions to enrich the message. For those of us in a public-school setting, a note that the little mouse does pray for God’s kindness and help when his issues overwhelm, so know that it might also serve as a good opportunity to talk about our spirituality and the presence of a higher power to nourish their spiritual sides. Check out The Friendly Mouse; it will be a fun addition to your SEL collection.

KC 6: Finally, I have had the blessing of a few treasured friends coming by to sit with me poolside just to visit and reconnect. 

To laugh. 

To cry.  

To restore and refuel. 

It’s especially serene as the sun sets over that serenity spot 

to the oddly-calming dissonant cadence of the cicadas.

The gift of time is the best kind of kindness.

All of these therapeutic resources and, like that, my longing for connection and kindness is sated so that I can be the living expression of God’s kindness, just like the blessed Mother Teresa encouraged us to be.

How do YOU feed that longing?


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