I don't watch the news, as a general rule, mostly because I'm fairly certain that what I see on the TV or read in the newspaper will happen to me. Easier to avoid it but there are times that I can't. Like when I have to discuss current events with my students (my friends know better than to discuss such things with me-- I just nod and pretend I know what they're talking about). This week, we checked out the websites for major news affiliates and talked about what we saw as opposed to the actual news. There were deaths, murders, ISIS updates, missing people and avian flu. They were quick to point out that most of what is reported on, is sad, bad, or ugly. It's almost like the news is teaching us that if it isn't horrific, it's not worth showing. When I was younger, my very favourite part of the Christmas season was the Holiday Wish Granting. Does anyone else remember that? They'd read one or two wishes from people that wrote into the television station and then they'd grant those wishes. I loved that. I was only nine or ten, but I loved it. It was worth putting down my book or whatever I was doing to watch that. I don't see that on TV anymore but it's not like kindness and paying it forward doesn't exist. It does. I get that it can't be the headline for news stories. Real adults (aka: not me) need to know what's going on in the world. However, it's important, I think, to know about the good going on in the world. It's everywhere, if that's what you want to see. Just like the bad can, if we let it, the good can overwhelm us. At least, it overwhelms me. In the last month, I've watched my own children and the students at my school give back constantly. They've given their time, their energy and their positive attitudes in hopes of making a difference in someone's life. We never know the impact we have on the people around us. You might just say the one thing a person needed to hear to turn their day around, to pull them up instead of pushing them further down. It doesn't have to be much but I think that the people that naturally do this, give because they can, don't even think about the impact they're having. For me, this week in particular, I've had so many people show me so much kindness, confidence, and encouragement, that I stopped worrying (okay, not really) about what hasn't happened and was able to focus on what HAS. I could do a full page post, just with a list of names, of all the people who have done something, just in the past week, that has made me smile, feel better, feel cared for, want to give back to someone else. But then I'd worry I'd forget someone or leave them out (like I already did once this week), so I won't. But I will say that I have a lot of people in my life that make me grateful. Incredibly so. I'm reading a beautiful book right now, called Wonder. I'm just at the point where the teacher tells the students that the most important thing we can ask of ourselves is "what kind of person do you want to be?" My answer is easy: I want to be the kind of person that makes someone's life better just by being in it. I want to give back the kindness that is so often shown to me. It might not be news worthy, but your words and actions matter. You never know how much.
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