In a world that seems to grow more polarized every day with angry, hurtful words hurled through cyberspace at lightning speed, it is refreshing to take refuge among the community of St. Michael’s. Here we can talk about the virtue of Goodness, and our students actually try to make someone’s day better by random acts of kindness. A smile, a gentle word, an invitation to join in a game, encouragement to be a part of a circle of friends. Every day we see examples of people trying to do the right thing simply because, well, it’s the right thing to do.
In Monday Chapel this week, I shared three random acts of kindness in which people went out of their way to be kind. The first occurred when a student approached me following a school event, sadly sharing that he had lost $20 out of his pocket. Now, for most of our kiddos, that’s a large sum. I felt bad for him and told him I would keep an eye open for it as we cleaned up. In my mind, I was sure it was gone. “Oh, yea of little faith!” The following Monday, that $20 was turned in by a parent who had found it on the floor. Upon hearing that, we were immediately able to connect the owner with the lost bill.
The second random act came in the form of a call to the school. A man phoned to say that he had seen what appeared to be a binder in the middle of the road being repeatedly run over by cars. He stopped to retrieve the notebook, looked inside, and identified the owner as a student from St. Michael’s. He called the school and offered to return it. He noted that, yes, the homework was complete and appeared done correctly! Not only did he return the binder to the school; he also took the time to purchase a new one to replace the one badly damaged with “road rash.” A stranger who took the time to do the right thing made something good happen for someone else.
And, finally, following a class trip to our neighborhood library, one of the librarians found a sweater left by a student. Rather than put it in the library “lost and found,” she took the time to return it to St. Michael’s. With cooler temperatures on the way, she was concerned that the child just might be looking for that sweater and need it the next morning. Once again, someone took the time to do something good for someone else simply because it was the right thing to do.
These simple but meaningful acts of kindness and goodness went so far in bringing joy and happiness to other people. Perhaps if we keep our eyes open each day for opportunities to practice our own random acts of kindness and goodness, we will have more good news to tweet about, filling cyberspace with positive words of encouragement rather than words that separate us. It would certainly make my day a whole lot brighter. It’s a reminder that we have more that unites us than divides us. Relationships are built one kind word or act at a time, and so that’s where we begin.
Head of School