Touching Lives is known for its innovative teaching methods that ensure wholesome learning and development of children. One of the ideals that we strive to inculcate in our children at Touching Lives is the ability to be kind and generous. We challenge them and ourselves, to expand our hearts, do unexpected acts of kindness for strangers or for those who live around us.
Recently, we observed Service Days over the last few months in each of our classrooms. As part of this initiative, children were motivated to go outdoors and involve themselves in activities such as garden cleaning, planting, paper bag making and distribution, distributing message cards/notes for strangers.
Planting Seeds of Love
Striking the Right Note
One such kindness activity was for children to make notes with kind, happy and positive messages in them. It was an interesting experience in many ways. As part of this activity, children wrote several notes with wonderful messages such as ‘You are Awesome!’, ‘you have a dazzling personality’, ‘You are a blessed soul. Keep up the good work.’, ‘Keep smiling. Your smile spreads happiness and positivity to people around you.’ and so on.
We all went out to give out these special messages to people whom we met on our way. Students were divided in groups. Each group, headed by a mentor, ventured to different neighboring areas, to distribute their messages to strangers. Now, the act of approaching and talking to strangers is itself a daunting act, even for adults. So naturally, the children had many questions on their mind. They wondered if they might say the wrong thing. Or end up offending someone. We all had these fears. Mentors and children alike. And they were not entirely baseless. We did confront a few people who did not take to the idea of children walking up to them and talking to them. That is when we realized how as human beings we are so used to being strangers to each other. So used to not speaking to each other. Nonetheless we proceeded with our little notes. It was endearing to have all the children persevere and lookout for people to give their messages to. But finally, we managed to break the ice and talk to people. People loved it too. There were smiles and appreciation. Some of them were even emotional and shared their happiness about receiving these messages.
We learnt many things in the course of our activity. And our experiences have made us all the braver. Children are always open to learning something new, even if it involves doing something completely different from what we are used to. Inculcating values at this point is therefore vital to our teaching.