My focus turned to gratitude for this teacher, and for others like her who are models of compassion and community. We live in an amazing world, abundant with opportunities. This generation of kids is plugged in like none before it. Teaching them to avail themselves of the technology that is out there is important. Teaching them to honor one another, to slow down, take a breath, to notice and appreciate beauty, and to think about the plight of another is priceless.
For years, our family has been involved with using "Smile" cards. The idea is similar to pay it forward. A person commits an act of kindness and leaves behind a card that says "Smile. you've been tagged" . The card asks the recipient to pass on an act of kindness and to leave the card behind. I am excited about the Pay It Forward cards, and about helping my daughter devise ways to use them. I'm thrilled about the stone this teacher tossed into the waters of the school community. I can't wait to witness the ripples of kindness that begin to expand out into the community and into the world as hope and compassion become vital parts of a syllabus.