We are keeping our kids home from school tomorrow March 14. Our reason is because we did not want our kids to feel pressured to participate in the school walkout. This is not a political rant so please, keep it civil.
I am not looking for a debate as to why there is a walkout, or on gun control. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on that matter and I respect that. I will not have the same opinion as everyone in this matter and I know that, but the beauty of the United States is that everyone is entitled to their own opinions or to disagree with opinions. What isn’t okay- attacking someone because they don’t agree with your opinion, so, as a disclaimer, please don’t do that on this post. This is not a post about gun control, the walkout, or anything of the sort. This is a post about doing something in the wake of the Florida tragedy because I believe that teaching my children they can make a difference is important for them as well as myself.
So what is the point of this post? I want my kids to be able to think about and process how their actions can and do affect others.
I read about #whatsyour17 on Facebook, if you want to know what it is, I am sure a google search can lead you to the relevant information. Essentially, a student challenged the efficacy of a walk out when they can take immediate action to affect the lives of 17 people around them through simple acts of kindness. I talked about this with my kids and my husband. The idea continued to fester and bother me though as I heard my kids talking about the walk out and following social media attention in our local area. I wondered how we could put this lesson in to action that has visual, measurable results. We decided we would stay home March 14 and work on a project we have called #exponentialkindness based loosely on the idea shared on Facebook.
We are creating kindness cards and packaging them in bags. Each bag has 17 cards in it, each card contains a quote and information on how to make your own. The point is to show people that everyone is capable of touching someone else’s life, even if it just for a moment, in a positive way. Everyone is capable of intentionally being kind to someone they don’t normally talk to, of smiling at a stranger, holding a door open for someone, being polite, you get the idea. Exponential Kindness is an idea that if you touch 17 people in a positive way, then they reach 17, together you’ve reached 258 people, if those 258 each touch 17 people then we have impacted 4,386 in turn those 4,386 can each touch 17 lives reaching 74,562 people- all through a simple act of kindness. When we figured out the numbers my kids were definitely shocked, they just said, man, that is a LOT of people.
Exponents…math…Mr. Holmes, maybe I did learn something?! (Ok, I did have my husband check my math, some things haven’t changed.)
Anyway, we came up with a few social media hashtags as well in hopes that their peers and mine would show everyone their kindness cards and keep the idea of kindness growing. We tailored ours to be specific to our school district and our school, which I would encourage everyone to do if this idea is one you would like to try. Our kids will be the ones voting soon, I hope they always take the time to think about an issue and look at both sides logically and with facts not emotion before they form an opinion. I have always taught them to think for themselves and not just regurgitate what they hear from me or their peers. We made a few extra as well in case any of their friends who go to other schools wanted to participate.
You can check out the files here: https://goo.gl/LaqHr9 and download them or create your own. I used the business card template on MS Word and just printed them with the boundary boxes.
If you decide to participate be sure to use the hashtags and feel free to follow us and tag us on Instagram @exponentialkindess