I kind of like what young Madilynn Stevens is doing.
Actually, I like it a lot – a whole lot, to be specific – but for the purpose of this story, let’s just keep it that I kind of like it.
Check out this excellent story about it all by Eric Poston of thesuburbanite.com:
"Madilynn Stephens wants to change the world one act of kindness at a time.
"Stephens, who is 9-years-old, will be a fourth-grader this year at Coventry Elementary School and is the president and founder of PLX Angels in the Lakes. She has some help with the group from her mother, Elizabeth Thrall.
"Thrall said her daughter is very passionate about helping others and even when the adults working on projects would start to let a project fizzle out, Stephens stepped in and didn’t let it go.
"Stephens has big plans, including publishing a book with acts of kindness in it."
There’s much more to Eric’s story, but you get the gist of it.
The root word of kindness, "kind," has become one of my favorite words. Do not confuse it with the word, "nice." They are two entirely different things, creating two very diverse emotions.
Being nice is the half-hearted version of kind. Being nice is a way of making it look you like you really, truly care, when in fact you don’t. You’re just faking it, more or less.
Being kind is to inject heart and soul into your interest. You are fully invested. You really do care.
Madilynn gets that because kids aren’t affected yet – they’re not scarred yet -- by the selfishness, laziness and irresponsibility that comes with adulthood. They see the world in simple, altruistic and loving ways. They believe that their caring can truly affect change in this world.
And woe be to any adult who tries to "correct" that thinking.
We all need to be kind, or at last kinder. We should practice kindness – make it something that is attached to us, goes with us wherever we go.
Thank you, Madilynn Stephens – thank you very much – for reminding all of us silly adults of the value of kindness.
That was … well, extremely kind of you.