The Dalai Lama said: Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
But kindness does not always come easily. Practice generally makes things easier.
So, I like to give my kindergarten kids opportunities to practice being kind.
To give of themselves.
We read a book called Somebody Loves You Mr Hatch.
Mr Hatch was given a box of chocolates (due to a postal error). Attached was a note - Somebody loves you. The unexpected gift made Mr Hatch feel really good. He smiled. He laughed. He changed his entire outlook on life. He changed from a cheese and mustard sandwich eating recluse, to the neighbourhood go-to guy and provider of brownie and lemonade backyard parties.
What would happen if we gave a yummy surprise to people on purpose - no postal error.
How would it make them feel. Would they feel special, like Mr Hatch did when he received a gift.
We decided to try it.
First question: what could we give away. Kindergarten kids don't have a lot of money, so we could not buy anything. Solution: kindergarten kids are excellent rice crispy square cooks.
Every child in the class helped make a batch of rice crispy squares. Melting butter, counting marshmallows and mixing in the rice crispys.
To make them special to give away - and because they were a "Somebody loves you" gift, we used a cookie cutter to make them into hearts.
They were slipped into Valentine's snack bags, ready to give away.
We chatted about who we could give them to - someone that we love, a friend, someone who we thought needed to know that "somebody loves them".
We gave some away at school. Our custodians were loved, the school district delivery truck driver, maintenance workers - basically any adult that we saw that was was not attached to a large group of students.
Each kindergarten kid was given a somebody loves you heart to take home and give away. (I sent an email home first explaining our project - that we were learning to give something away for the joy of being kind without expecting anything in return.)
Hopefully we spread a little love around - and enjoyed practicing being kind.