Do you really know the impact you have on someone when you serve?
Do you really know the impact you have on someone when you carry out an act of kindness?
Do you really know the impact you have on someone when you invite them to join your sports team or social group?
It is the things you do without even realising, that can have a huge impact on people.
Asking a child who feels lonely, “what was your favourite part of today?”, can light up a child’s face as it shows them you care.
Asking a friend to join the Wednesday night lawn bowls team can change a person’s life. You just don’t know. The person you ask may be hiding personal issues, they maybe feeling lonely and socialising through playing lawn bowls could be the exact remedy a person needs.
Are you always going to know if you are having a positive impact?
You will get the common, “thank you”. Or “I appreciate you doing that”. But deep down, the person who says “thank you” maybe glowing inside, but not be confident enough to truly express the positive impact you have had on them.
It may only be 10-20% of the time someone tells you. “I really appreciate what you have done for me. You have given me the confidence to socialise again and interact with people. I cannot remember the last time I have been this happy.”
I would like to share a recent text message I received, which illustrates this exact point. This particular person wanted to share with me an example of how they did something so simple, but has had a huge impact. For confidentiality I will not use names:
TEXT MESSAGE: “Hi, Just want to let you know how much I appreciate you and [name] with [name]. I knew he had self esteem issues but I have just learnt he has been battling depression as well. Being part of this team and coaching the little kids has been great. [Name] is such a positive influence on him I really do appreciate it. Any opportunity for him to become involved further in basketball please let me know.”
TEXT CONT…Wow.. such great news and such an easy and simple thing for us to do to make such a huge change for this young man and his family. [Name] and I recognised this lad in his team had some issues. Tall, shy early puberty, pimples and long hair over his face not feeling like he fits in and a coach who rides him too hard. So we decided we may be able to help by inviting him to coach and introduced and helping guide him. He is opening up his body language, smiling and laughing with that same coach now. His game is improving as well. So proud of us and what sport can do for all kids if we keep our eye on the kids and not the wins.. awesome..
What an amazing story. On this occasion the family was told of the positive impact they did have on this young man.
Will you always know?
No you will not.
But, does this mean you should stop serving, stop being kind?
Absolutely not. YOU JUST DON’T KNOW.
The challenge is to model and provide opportunities for children/students to serve other people.
It’s important to highlight to children:
- although you may not see it your kindness/service may change a persons life
- don’t serve others with the main objective of getting something in return
- if you see someone feeling sad, do something nice for them
Imagine what an amazing, service minded, kind child you will nurture if you can provide opportunities for your children to serve.
Growing With Gratitude Blog
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KidsMatter Primary School’s Programs Guide