Cheryl Melody Baskin, Author of "Shift of Heart."
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." Leo Buscaglia
I recall how inspired Dr. Buscaglia made me feel when I watched his PBS specials on "LOVE" many years ago. He created a positive vibration of inspirational writings and passionate ideas, and what he shared with adults can also be shared teaching moments with children. Even a young child can realize from "inside-out" that just a smile of inclusion and a simple thank you can make a world of difference in someone's life.
It's important, however, to provide a foundation of understanding about what specific kinds of actions can make a difference. Sometimes we skip over the basics and just "expect" kids to know what to do. Children first need to observe, brainstorm and know specifically what kinds of things they can do. When we ourselves role model, point out and encourage kindness, active listening, caring, politeness, inclusion, respect, cooperation, patience and gratefulness...then children reflect what they observe, feel and hear.
With this kind of heightened consciousness, there may be a lessening of bullying, rudeness, and verbal and physical violence. The popular movie, "Pay It Forward," also speaks to the power of positive role modeling, and the simple belief that each small action that we provide for each other helps to create a "Peace Begins with You and Me" environment.