A friend recently attended his aunt’s 100th birthday party. It was a big affair and the lucky lady who is still in great shape spoke with great clarity about life. She said if there was one message she wanted to leave the assembled group, it was- ‘be kind’.
I have since dwelt on this message and it echoes as an eminently sensible and laudable aim in life. We all live in a tumultuous world where the pain and suffering of others hits us at every media report. As adults we struggle to make sense of the carnage and rage but essentially we all just get on with our lives hoping for some resolution of the conflict(s).
Here in Eastbourne we live in a relatively safe and sheltered haven yet our children are growing up in a more visibly hostile environment than we did.
Somehow we have to ensure our children remain optimistic and resilient but also empathetic. Clearly as adults we have to model these characteristics and foster a generosity of spirit in our children by getting them involved in ‘giving’ from a very young age. This giving can take the form of active deeds such as collecting for charities or getting them involved in environmental tasks. On a more day to day basis simply encouraging children to greet people warmly and to be positive to others is a great start. As we all know there is a great satisfaction in giving. The saying ‘to give is to receive’ is so very true and yet so often we can all forget this great adage. We would all be better off individually, nationally and globally if we all tried harder in this area. Such simple deeds can be so very powerful and I really do think the old lady had it right when she said, ‘Be Kind’
(Y1-8 Independent Primary School for Boys)