Every day at TNSM, I witness acts of kindness:
- A Montessori material spills and two or three students quietly join to help with the clean up.
- A child sits alone and is invited by others to join a game.
- A student forgets to put his rug away and a friend rolls it up and places it in the basket.
Alfred Adler, an early leader in psychology and student of Maria Montessori, said the primary need of every child is to feel a sense of belonging and significance. One way that children learn the significance of their own actions is through acts of kindness. Maria Montessori knew this…
“They (children) will imitate us in any case. Let us treat them, therefore, with all the kindness which we would wish to help develop in them.” ~Maria Montessori
In our (6-9) communities, students and teachers read a book called, Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? which provides a powerful metaphor around the importance of sharing, giving, and caring. The (6-9) community brought that lesson to life by creating small, hand decorated buckets which students literally filled with symbols when witnessing acts of kindness. You won’t want to miss this video (below) of students and teachers describing the experience. Enjoy!
For those of you who want to deepen your understanding around kindness, I highly recommend a book I read two years ago called, Humankind: A Hopeful History. It is a deeply satisfying exploration around a new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history. The author, Rutger Bregman, sets out to “prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another.”
I hope you all have an amazing weekend. I will leave you with a quote I have seen attached to many people. I suppose the message is what’s most important:
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind .”