Longing For Kindness & Connection

Lately I've been thinking about our longing for kindness and connection.

Life-changing quotes like this one keep finding me. So I search for pictures to pair them with; this shot was taken from the porch swing in my childhood home on the family farm. Then the Law of Attraction kicks in and cool resources to complement the words start showing up.

As opportunities to feed that longing appear, I'm finding that Mother Teresa was on to something; it's about being in the moment and noticing. Here now, six kindness & connection (KC) examples; God's kindness has truly been humbling, healing, and hopeful. 

KC 1: In one of the SEL breakouts at ASCA, a compassionate mindset shift around the power of words that could make ALL the difference for our school families: Instead of referring to behaviors as "challenging," this school in Kentucky calls them "unexpected" behaviors. So you have your expected behaviors and your unexpected behaviors, a small shift that I imagine could make a BIG difference in your school culture. 💜

KC 2: On Monday, a friend sent a link to Survival of the Kindest, Susan Cain's incredible interview on Kate Bowler's podcast. I really connect to how minor-key music can help us become more self-aware and feel all the feelings. Have you seen how this toddler emotes at hearing his sister play the melancholy Moonlight Sonata?

You might also want to hear Susan Cain's latest TED Talk

KC 3: Another friend saw that I posted a Parker Palmer quote on FB, so she brought me two of his books to read. Thoughtfulness for the win.

KC 4: A friend texted this adaptation on a Molly Costello image,
a gorgeous reminder to nourish that longing.

KC 5: And just before my interview with Nicole Phillips in May, I had listened to Sophia Tyler on The Kindness Podcast; shortly afterward, her publicist reached out and offered to send me this special delivery.

This sweet story, written by college-aged author Sophia R. Tyler and brilliantly illustrated by Matthew Sample, finds a hurried little mouse (with a huge heart but even bigger problems) scurrying through life and trying desperately to self-regulate while working with intention to hold on to his job; with its unexpected ending, expect this tale to plant and grow seeds of empathy, compassion and kindness in your heart and soul. A bonus in the back, some discussion questions to enrich the message. For those of us in a public-school setting, a note that the little mouse does pray for God's kindness and help when his issues overwhelm, so know that it might also serve as a good opportunity to talk about our spirituality and the presence of a higher power to nourish their spiritual sides. Check out The Friendly Mouse; it will be a fun addition to your SEL collection.

KC 6: Finally, I have had the blessing of a few treasured friends coming by to sit with me poolside just to visit and reconnect. 
To laugh. 
To cry.  
To restore and refuel. 

It's especially serene as the sun sets over that serenity spot 
to the oddly-calming dissonant cadence of the cicadas.

The gift of time is the best kind of kindness.

All of these therapeutic resources and, like that, my longing for connection and kindness is sated so that I can be the living expression of God's kindness, just like the blessed Mother Teresa encouraged us to be.

How do YOU feed that longing?

No comments

I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!