If you're anything like me, you spend many of your days running from thing to thing like a chicken with your head cut off. Some things are important and others not so much. Some things just keep you from doing the very thing you should be doing in the first place. But sometimes, when you least expect it, someTHING happens and your whole world comes to a screeching halt. A veil of silence blocks out the noise around you. Though it sometimes takes your brain a bit to come around, your body is fully aware. Your eyes tear up, your skin gets goose-bumpy and your breath quickens.
Those were my exact symptoms a few weeks ago when my friend sent me a video of a little boy on his first day of kindergarten. She said, “Allison, you must watch it. You and Kyle speak the same language.” My friend knows I was a kindergarten teacher in my heyday and may have suspected I was feeling melancholy with all the first day of school hubbub.
I watched the video at least ten times within the first few minutes. Each viewing brought with it a different layer of emotion for me. First was pure delight just hearing his innocent message, followed quickly by utter happiness because of his kind heart. Mixed in was even a tinge of sadness uncovering just how much I truly miss teaching children. But the cherry on top for me was hope. Hope for the future of our world. So I asked my friend if she knew where I could send Kyle a set of autographed books as a thank you for being just the KIND of person this world needs more of.
As the week passed I just couldn't shake that little boy Kyle out of my mind and heart. I felt compelled to do more; as if it were a calling. It’s hard to put into words without sounding flighty, but I knew my job was not over. So, I spoke with my friend again and asked her to tell me a bit more about this new role model of mine. That’s when she told me Kyle was a Philadelphia Eagles fan, the same team my husband coaches for. They say there are no coincidences, just events and people coming into your life for a particular purpose.
That’s when I hatched a plan and contacted Kyle’s mom and dad. With their blessing in hand, I reached out to some Philadelphia Eagles football people who put their heart and soul into the organization. Our head coaches wife donated her very own stadium seats for Kyle and his parents. The office staff provided field passes and two bags full of Eagles swag. A special football player even videotaped a message inviting Kyle and his family to our game. Our team owner made certain this little boy was recognized for being a kind person and the team President made it a point to personally meet Kyle on the sidelines. Just see for yourself!
Perhaps you, too, are now covered in goosebumps or had to reach for a tissue? Just so we are clear, I honored Kyle’s act of kindness for purely selfish reasons. Not for the obvious one minute of fame or for increased book sales. I did this for the health and well-being of my world, our world. I am tired and saddened by all the filthy, distasteful and hurtful “news” that seems to go viral and frenetically fill our social media and news feeds. I am discouraged by the regurgitation about things gone so wrong. I am even more fearful I am becoming numb to all of this. I refuse to live my life that way.
So I am taking a stand with this blog because I must do something. My intention in writing this all along was to highlight Kyle’s kind spirit and help it take flight into our news feed. Truth of the matter is, kindness is 100% contagious. The more people see this, the more people will be kind and the kinder our world will be. Join me, won’t you? Share Kyle’s kindness with all your people please. Or do your own version of something kind, add the hashtag #BeKindLikeKyle and share it with the world. Let’s start a movement!
Moral: “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” Bob Kerry
A little thing you should know about me: I am technologically challenged, so my daughter has kindly helped me create the video montage and posted to endless social media outlets. Without her help none of this would have happened. Hats off to @madistoutland