Kindness - Give and Receive

What would our world look like if the next generation became leaders in kindness?

The Collins Dictionary provides a definition for kindness:

       “Kindness is the quality of being gentle, caring, and helpful

But kindness can mean different things to different people. The meaning is in how you choose to show it. This may be through empathy, acceptance, kind gestures, thoughtfulness….. the possibilities are wide ranging and entirely up to you as an individual.

Kindness can be as simple as a smile, a “thank you” or a word of encouragement. It is a way of connecting, even if only for a brief moment, with those we pass in our daily lives. It does not have to cost anything or take much time. What is important is that it is an act of genuine care and thoughtfulness for another person.

With our strong focus on family and relationships within the school, it is no surprise that kindness appears deliberately in our values (see below).

 

To be kind, it is important for us to be aware of the people around us and to notice their needs and feelings. This requires an understanding of our community and we endeavour to instil this in the daily lives of the children at Yateley Manor. We all have an innate level of compassion. As the Dalai Lama says: "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."

The more you give, the more you receive

As the saying goes, “What goes around comes around” and with kindness it really does. Research shows that being kind to others increases our own levels of happiness as well as theirs. It also has a knock-on effect. Kindness is contagious, so it makes our communities nicer places to be. We are hard-wired for love and compassion so it is not all about chasing individual success. Our communities and society flourish when people look out for each other.

I have been looking out for and witnessed so many acts of kindness within our community this week. There was Archie who spent his mornings ferrying our new Year 3 children to their classrooms, always with such a warm smile. Rose saw me walking along the corridor and waited patiently, holding the door for me. Sasha noticed that Matron had not had the time to drink much water and set her a target for the day, whilst Jo and PJ have had multiple hugs from the younger members of our school. Joshua has offered to undertake the register at the door in the mornings, not only to help the member of staff but also to learn the names of the children so that he can greet them. Kindness really does come in so many forms.

Teaching kindness

It is human nature to learn by watching others, so by modelling kindness we are teaching our children to be kind themselves. In school, when we see children being kind, we tell them that we appreciate their behaviour. Positive reinforcement helps children want to do more good deeds and reminds people to act with intention.

Turning dreams into reality

“I have a dream.” These four words spoken by Martin Luther King Jr. have inspired millions of people to this day. Dr. King pushed for equality and acceptance, irrespective of a person’s race, religion or economic status. He showed the American people that we can fight battles without violence, but instead with compassion, love, and kindness. At Yateley Manor, kindness and community matter to us and we will pursue kindness within our community at every opportunity.

 

Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.

(Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr.)