“You need a ‘safe’ word for when someone is doing things or saying something that hurts your heart,” – Kim Borgmeyer
As all parents do, some friends of mine and I were discussing school and the upcoming school year. Some were concerned about the amount of “just kidding” that the kids were doing and how uncertain we were that most would consider their jibes or insults as “jokes.” In addition there were some comments made about when teachers “joke” and the words do not come across as “funny” to the students.
My friend Kim suggested that each classroom have a “safe” word. A word that any student could use to the teacher or other students to signify that what was being said or done was hurtful to them. It could be anything from “rotten apples” to “pink giraffe,” but whatever the word was it would always show that the other’s behavior was not okay.
I thought, “Man, that’s brilliant.” Using a “safe” word is a terrific way to signify the impact of the moment and keep everyone aware of the power of their words and actions.
Of course everyone would need to understand that the “safe” word should only be used in real instances of bullying or disrespect. It should not be a word or phrase to be used lightly or in joking situations and everyone would have to abide by the understanding that it really was a “safe” way to say, “Hey, that’s not okay.”
This reminded me of a time when I gave a nickname to a student. All of my yearbook students had nicknames. It was our tradition. The nickname given to this particular young man was awarded completely out of comradery and friendly ribbing but, as things sometimes do, the nickname evolved to become something that was negative in my student’s life. It was not until after the spring awards banquet that I learned he thought the nickname meant I didn’t think he was smart.
Continue reading ““Safe” Words – Wise Words Wednesday” →
After reading You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, I was inspired to read other publications Jen recommended in her book. Cami Walker’s 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life was one of the books recommended by Sincero. In her book Walker tells the story of how a prescription of intentional giving and journaling has helped her battle the pain and hindrances caused by her multiple sclerosis. It is a powerful story and really propelled me toward a stronger giving purpose.
Taking the 29 Gifts Challenge was a positively impactful experience. For 29 days I intentionally gave gifts and journaled about my giving. The act of giving and reflecting on the impacts made through giving made my life more meaningful.
Excitedly I joined the 29 Gifts Community at http://www.29gifts.org and began to follow Cami Walker and the 29 Gifts page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/29Gifts/. Both of these connections inspired me as I saw that there were many others who had taken the 29 Gifts Challenge and were motivated by the book’s message. Continue reading “The Gift of Giving” →
Often we don’t notice what others are doing unless it is out of the ordinary. Kind acts aren’t out of the norm for many of us, but they are definitely something that makes us stop, watch, and listen. Kindness communicates beyond words.
Earlier this week I wrote about digging for the gold in others. Finding value in each person makes our days richer and brighter. Adding kindness to our gold diggery enhances the quality of our lives. Digging for the gold in others unfortunately is not something we do all the time. Hopefully we can all start to look and listen for the “golden” traits in those around us.
The Intentergy Challenge for today is to break away from the norm and commit acts of kindness that speak beyond words. Seek past your regular routine to make a positive impact on the life or lives of those around you. Hear cries for help or love that you don’t normally hear and answer them with compassion and understanding.
Check out April Positivity Challenge for 36 ideas on carrying out random acts of kindness.
While we cannot always see the hurt or troubles in the lives of others. We can see the impacts kindness makes. While we don’t always have the right words, our compassion and positive energy echo loudly with love and appreciation.
Humankind = Be Both
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Being kind is cool. Let’s get everyone to jump on that bandwagon.
Feed the Machine and other Voluntary Acts via Daily Prompt: Volunteer
Seriously, how long does it take to put paper in a copier? How hard is it to hold open a door for someone? Does picking up a piece of trash cost you anything but calories?
This may seem like a sassy start for an Intentergy post, but I was really just trying to grab your attention on this fine Tuesday morning.
The fuel, behind my intent-powered program, is energy that burns because of kindness and consideration. Voluntary acts of kindness should not always be random or rare. They should be intentional and blatant. Let others know you care enough to do nice things for them and your surroundings.
As often as possible, I make it to the workroom on my plan time and feed the copy machine. Why? Because it stinks when you are running copies right before class and the dumb machine is starving. When people see me feeding the machine, they usually join me and help unwrap the reams. We share conversation and an intentional act of kindness. It is a very fulfilling act (not just for the poor, hungry copier).
Make these intentional acts frequently. Your frequency of kindness will result in greater consideration from those around you and that leads to even more intentional kindness and before we know it, people could actually have a good day. Smiles might actually appear without provocation. Thoughtful actions might occur without having to think about them. Who knows, maybe we might get a little bit closer to that whole world peace thing and start to put an end to starvation (not just the kind that happens to copiers).
Put your energy and intent into committing acts of charity and compassion and you will never starve for kindness or consideration. You will be filled with love and gratitude and that is what having Intentergy is all about.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. This post was not intended to make you hungry, but if it did, be sure to share your snack with someone. It will taste even better.