The Power Of Hope

I know, I know, it's Friday and that usually means PPBF at The Corner. 
But not today. Today, I've got a book of essays to share.

Kindness Is Contagious by Nicole J. Phillips
 was a gift from my friend Laurel; in fact, 
I'm listening to this author's Kindness Podcast as I type.
Her purpose and her passion are palpable with every word;
her stories of kindness and love will tug at your heartstrings.
Need a Valentine's Day gift?
This book would be perfect for that special someone.

A small act of kindness can be a big dose of hope.

Hope came alive as I spent three days growing alongside of
some school counselors in Wisconsin, at their state conference,
aptly themed The Power Of Hope this year.

I savored visiting with them at the Character Strong booth
and presenting an intensive 90-minute sectional
about infusing social and emotional learning
into the very fabric of their character building.

Now, the fact that it was in Wisconsin in the winter
may have had something to do with the magic;
just look at the view as I flew in on Tuesday.

The conference was set on this beautiful lake.

Isn't it majestic?

Once you scrape away all of the ice so you can see it, that is.

Every single blessing has some sort of burden built in;
that's what makes hope our number one resilience indicator.

Here's the view from my chair inside the conference hall
and a tree that's adorned with droplets of twinkling ice.

Could it get any more picture perfect, cozy and serene?

Unfortunately the weather prevented a trip home to see my folks,
but having sister time in Madison made winter travel worth it.

At the conference, I met a banquet hall employee
who stopped by the table to find out more about
our Make Kindness Normal stickers
and the Character Strong culture ideal.

As we chatted, I passionately explained how we all could get a little bit better at being kind. I added that, while I didn't want to talk politics, I thought our friends in D.C. could use some of our stickers and an SEL session.

He smiled, and then he challenged me coyly with this inquiry:
We Europeans think you're kind of funny that way.
You said you don't want to talk about politics,
but if you never talk about a thing, 
how will it ever change?

And wow.
An important life lesson 
over a kindness sticker.

I swallowed hard and thanked him for helping me remember what I used to tell my students all the time, that we must choose to have those courageous conversations, to confront problems and care-front people, for healthier connections and relationships. Because talking things through can 
unleash the healing power of hope.

What a beautiful reminder,
perfectly timed for the last day of
National School Counseling Week 2019.

Need more kindness integration ideas?

And if you're under a winter storm watch like us,
bundle up and stay inside, warmed by the hope that 
good weather days always come after bad weather days.

At least that's what my friend Jet Stream Jax taught me.

1 comment

  1. What a beautiful post about kindness - the gift we can give when we have nothing to give.


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