Kindness (or lack thereof) has been a theme in my life recently. My teenagers can be, and often are, mean, the kind of mean that makes you feel like someone socked you in the stomach, hard. My fourth graders, no matter how much I try to teach them otherwise, can be really, really unkind. And I'm in the middle of a job hunt, for the third school year in a row…
Last weekend, I read WONDER by R.J. Palacio. If you have not read it, run, don't walk to the closest bookstore and buy it, then carve out a few hours to hunker down and read, because you won't be able to put it down. And then I read Mary Lee's post on Empathy. Then somehow, that same day, I wandered over to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's Poem Farm, and found a lovely poem about kindness, which I shared with my fourth graders that day. Amy shared the link to "Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye. Nye has been one of my favorite poets for a long time, but I didn't know this poem…
Naomi Shihab Nye
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.…
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
Jone is hosting POETRY FRIDAY at CHECK IT OUT.