About Kindness…. and The Way it Comes Back to You

So, I know I have been away from my blog. For a number of personal aspects I haven’t had time write on the blog. I miss it, and I hope the overwhelming period is over. So, for my first post after such a long time away, I chose to do something following up to James Taylor’s “Just Say Yes” – which plays to my heart. I strongly recommend his post, but to put it in a few words, James talks about how about a year ago he made a decision to say yes to everything (professionally at least), every request and opportunity that “knocked” on his door – within reason. Whether it was a request for answering a survey, recording a video for a PLN friend or a conference, he said yes. And he became a better person and had some great things happen to him because of that. I am a firm believer of that.

Quite a few years back, pushed by a project I was doing with some of my classes based on the film Pay It Forward , I made a decision to every day make a conscious “random act of kindness”. Whether it was help someone I don’t know, get out of my way to help someone I know or give some food to a kid begging for money on a street light (we have quite a few of those in my city). I don’t think this makes me a good person in any way. Sometimes it is something as simple as stopping my car to give way to someone backing up from a parking space in a busy street. Those who live in a city as big as mine know this can be considered an act of kindness, with every impatient car behind you honking in the process. I do it expecting nothing in return. I do it for the simple reason I think the world has become too individualised, people are too self-centered, too wrapped in their own worlds. Life seems to have become so demanding and fast that people forget to be kind. People sometimes forget we live in a community. And I have discovered (ok, so maybe many other people know it already) that what you throw into the world comes back to you. Yelling generates yelling. Impatience generates impatience. But (thankfully) kindness generates kindness as well.

Kindness generates kindness – from Prophet Kindness

A friend, who is an acclaimed novelist and writer,has written this piece of writing. And it speaks to me, when it preaches “kindness generates kindness”. And I believe that.

So, I leave you with a video about sharing from TED and the changes it can have in your life; the free translation I have made from my friend’s short story ( I apologize for any mistakes on the translation. But it had rang to close to my heart for a year.); and an idea of an activity to use with students after reading it. Maybe we can spread kindness after all. And if I can leave you with something positive, here’s a man in Rio de Janeiro who preaches kindness to others (the best link in English I could find about him is this)

I couldn’t help noticing, when I came across James’ post, how much it rang true to what I believe: Be good, be helpful, and the world will (hopefully) be good again.

It feels good to be back again :)

Seeing Hope in the Little Things (short story)

Kindness Activity

Update: I know my blog is usually very ELT / classroom focused. But I think as educators who have such influence on the young people who will soon be adults, we can make a difference if we bring and discuss such ideas in class as well.

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18 comments on “About Kindness…. and The Way it Comes Back to You

  1. mrchrisjwilson says:

    Thanks for the inspiration :) It can be hard to pay it forwards sometimes but I know that on those days when everything is going badly, someone’s random act of kindness can be amazing and totally change things.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Chris! It can be quite hard, especially when you don’t see results right away, or when you get rudeness back. But we just have to take a deep breath, remember the good results and move on. And we all have bad days too!
      Cheers!

  2. Marisa Pavan says:

    Dear Ceci,

    Your post is great! I consider it’d be so easy to have a better world if we were kind to each other. I’m a bit of a dreamer and I’m an optimist by nature. I want to believe there will be a change in the world, a change for the better. My reply is always “yes” when others need something, not to mention my reply when receiving job opportunities. It’s hard for me to say “no” and the therapy I’ve started with Bach flowers is connected to my inability to say “no” even when it means putting myself in second place. Extremes are not good, the ideal thing is to reach a balance.
    The most unusual things have happened to me. The latest I remember took place yesterday. I was returning home from a walk along the bank of a river in my city when I came across a woman who asked me to help her put on a necklace. She was walking in the street with the necklace in her hand because she had nowhere at home to help her and she was trying to meet someone who would look reliable to ask for that favour.

    Kisses,
    Marisa

    • Dear Marisa, I relate to what you said in many more ways than you can imagine. I’ve been trying to get to that balance, but it’s hard. I always feel that if someone asks for my help it’s because they need it, and I feel good in being able to help. Maybe we’re hopeless ;-) The story about the woman with the necklace is amazing! But I think the world has a way of directing those who need help to those of us who are willing to.

      That’s a great thought to start the week, isn’t it?

      Kisses,

      Ceci

      • Marisa Pavan says:

        I couldn’t agree more! It’s true what you say. There’s a certain magic that makes those in need of help contect with those willing to offer it. Great thought, Sis!
        Kisses,
        Marisa

  3. Positivity, no matter where it stems from or the content it is given, is a wonderful gift.

  4. [...] background-position: 50% 0px ; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } cecilialcoelho.wordpress.com – Today, 12:55 [...]

  5. Great post Ceci (and sorry for being slow in saying so!). I think you understand exactly what I was trying to say in my post and you’ve added a social and moral aspect to it which definitely applies in my case too. And as Tyson says, any act of positivity is an important thing. Thanks!

  6. [...] So, I know I have been away from my blog. For a number of personal aspects I haven’t had time write on the  blog. I miss it, and I hope the overwhelming period is over. So, for my first post…  [...]

  7. [...] About Kindness and the Way it Comes Back to You! Great post & lesson video by Cecilia Lemos [...]

  8. […] article, “About Kindness… and The Way it Comes Back to you”  was a great reminder about how kindness truly generates kindness. Our lives today are filled with […]

  9. […] her blog post titled “About Kindness…and the Way It Comes Back to You,” Cecilia Lemos comments on how important kindness truly […]

  10. […] About Kindness and the Way it Comes Back to You! Great post & lesson video by Cecilia Lemos […]

  11. […] “About Kindness…and the way it comes back to you” was a very interesting post to read. Cecilia responds to a post about saying yes to every professional request for help that another blogger, James Taylor, did. This post spoke to me for many reasons. One, I love the idea of pay it forward and committing random acts of kindness. Secondly, I feel like this idea is a good one to have your students be aware of. I agree with Cecilia when she says rah she feels today’s world has become too “individualized or all about me”, I see evidence of this on a daily basis, especially when walking on campus. As a teacher I feel that creating a safe and friendly environment is essential and promoting kindness among your students is one way to do this. Teaching students to care about others as well as your content area, is a goal of mine. The wow moment of this blog post for me was noticing that this teacher had clearly stepped out of her normal posting ideas with this post. I liked that kindness was important enough to her for her to break her blog mold, and it’s great to see people who aren’t afraid to change things up a bit when they deem it necessary or beneficial. Cecilia’s blog name also caught my attention and made me realize that you can have a blog name that doesn’t outright say what your blog is about, yet still tell the reader a bit about your ideas. […]

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