On behalf of the entire Grant School staff, I want to welcome everyone back from the holiday break and extend a warm happy new year to everyone. I love the new year and the opportunity that January always provides each of us to take some time and reflect on our lives and recommit to making changes and being better versions of ourselves.
Recently, in my own process of reflecting on things over the break, I came across a question that made me think. The question was one of many that the author Tim Ferriss asked successful people in all walks of life in his book Tribe of Mentors and it was something like this: “If you could put up a billboard for the whole world to see, what message would you put on it?”
Great question. The first thing that I thought of was actually the message that we put up on signs around Grant School this year. The story goes something like this…I told Trudy Pellizzari that I wanted to put up some “Bully Free Zone” signs around campus with maybe the word BULLY on it with a big red circle with a slash over the word. I thought that it would get the desired message out to our world that bullies were not tolerated at Grant School. Trudy had a better idea. She came back with a sign showing a boy and a girl holding hands and the message above them read: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” Perfect, simply perfect.
I love these signs around campus and I really hope that our students will see them and reflect on the lesson. In fact, if I had a billboard up for the whole world to see that would be my message. Think about our world right now. Not just the Grant School world at 8835 Swasey Drive
, but how about Redding, California, the United States of America, and OUR WORLD. What would that world look like if everyone would take a second and choose to be kind. Imagine folks choosing kindness over anger. How about kindness replacing hate or harassment? What if, instead of rushing to judge or discriminate, a person chose to be kind?
So, instead of pondering what ifs, we at Grant School are going to try a little something something this month and I want to invite and encourage everyone to try it with us. For one week (but hopefully every day), Grant School will be participating in the Great Kindness Challenge. From January 22nd to the 26th, Grant School students will be joining thousands of students across the country and working out our kindness muscles by performing kind acts to others. Maybe it will be extending a compliment to another student, letting a staff member know how much they appreciate them, or a simple act like opening the door for someone else. Whatever the act is, I am confident that this experiment will help our students learn that there is a power in kindness. I am hopeful that our students will learn the truth that the character Gandalf teaches in J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic The Hobbit taught when he said: “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that deep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
Small acts of kindness matter. They have mattered in my life and I think that they do have an amazing power to change lives, schools, and even the world. I will be working with my team of superheroes (Mrs. Pell, staff, Student Council, etc.) to have some fun with The Great Kindness Challenge of 2018 and I invite you to support us in your homes and families. So mark your calendars for January 22nd-26th and “Choose Kind”.
Let’s expect the best from each other in 2018 and GO COUGARS!