When Kindness is the Deepest Thing

World Kindness Day, celebrated on November 13th each year, is a global day that promotes being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. The purpose of this day is to focus attention on the importance and the power of compassion for others. In preparation for this special day, I did a little research on kindness and what it means to humans. I came across a poem that I feel compelled to share with all of you. If this doesn’t speak to our current situation of living with, and through, COVID-19, nothing does. In part, Naomi Shibah Nye writes ~


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…

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

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.


Now, more than ever, it so important for us to recognize that it is kindness that improves our quality of life, in our homes, and in our work and school communities. Doing good for others feels good and enhances our health and well-being. Showing kindness, and receiving kindness, are perhaps two of the best ways to get through this unusual time in history. When all is said and done, it is kindness that will win the day and bring the hope and light that is essential right now. Every single day we are so fortunate to witness acts of kindness here at CGS. Whether it comes from students, staff, or parents, it is a constant reminder that we are never alone. And the great thing is that kindness is a strength that is truly contagious. Our lives may be different, and at times we may feel tremendous loss and sadness, but it is kindness given and kindness received that will sustain us. In the end, only kindness matters!

My best,

Marie Bates
Principal & Co-Founder
Children’s Garden School