If you read my previous post, you know that I took a lot of English classes in high school and college, which is partially due to my love of books and a lot to do with my love of language. I love writing papers almost as much as I love reading books. I appreciate authors who use specific language, and I like to use it when I write and when I speak (even if it sounds funny sometimes). Just this past weekend, I told my husband that we could meander on our way back to our hotel. He thought this sounded a little silly, because we were just walking, but that's the word that came to me. We weren't walking, running, ambling, strolling, or any other word related to walking as much as we were meandering. It just fit.
Anywho. The point of my love affair with language is that I have been brainstorming about a quote that means a lot to me. This is hard because I'm obsessed with quotes and am picky about language. I have a Pinterest board that is mostly composed of quotes here. I thought about this for awhile, and there are many contenders, but this is the one that resonates with me most clearly:
My grandmother always told me to be nice, and if I wasn't going to be nice, then I should just stay quiet. My parents instilled manners into my siblings and me from an early age. We said please and thank you for everything. Being nice and polite have always been important to me.
To me, kindness is a combination of those two things. It is something that is universal to all people, like a smile. If you have nothing else to give, give someone a smile. It costs you nothing, but to them, it could mean anything. Smile for someone, hold the door for someone, give someone a thumbs up or high five, write a "thinking of you" card and pop it in the mail...be kind to others because kindness is universal.
The second reason I like this quote has to do with my first year of teaching. I was lucky enough to teach a third grade inclusion classroom for DHH (deaf/hard of hearing). This was one of the coolest experiences I have had. I do not know sign language and had an interpreter for my DHH students in addition to the support of an amazing special educator as my co-teacher. When I struggled occasionally with understanding my students and with them understanding me, I hoped they understood that I meant everything with kindness and always wanted them to feel included in everything in our classroom.
Also, this experience showed me how easily kids can communicate through kindness. Just a smile to one another, and it didn't matter if there were anything differences, physical or otherwise, between them. Smiles, and kindness, are universal.
Do me a favor, and give someone random a smile today. Spread kindness.
The close second (um, and third) quotes:
***This idea for this blog entry came from the Weekly Summer Link Up from I Heart Grade 3. Check out more blogs entries about favorite quotes here!***