“Nobody can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody.” ‑Denver Moore
This is my favorite quote from Same Kind of Different as Me (and the new Same Kind of Different as Me for Kids). The beautiful lesson this teaches our children is that although everyone cannot help everybody, someone can help somebody. This simple concept demystifies the definition of serving others.
We don’t have to have any special skills, talents, or agenda; we simply need to teach our children to tap into what it is they love and find others who are interested in sharing the same gifts.
We all have things we’re good at… as well as things we’re not so good at.
If we continue on the theme of “everybody can help somebody”, then we could also say that everyone has something to give. The key lies in helping our children discover their individual gifts and talents so they have the confidence to share them with others.
The Needs Next Door
Before kids can cure the crises of the world, they need to discover the needs next door. While it may take a village to raise a child, the concept of community is rapidly disappearing from our culture.
National Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17th. The concept is all well and good in theory, but without action, it can become just like any other day.
In Same Kind of Different as Me for Kids, Ron Hall and Denver Moore share the story of their unlikely friendship, but more importantly, they share a story about what can happen when people choose to help others. Thanks to this new book, our children will discover they too can make a difference.
If I’ve learned anything from Denver Moore’s story in Same Kind of Different as Me for Kids, it’s that everybody has the potential to change somebody’s life, regardless of who they are, where they come from, where they live, how old they are, or how big or small the task may be.
Facilitating simple acts of kindness while still allowing kids the creativity to develop ideas of their own about how to give back forms the foundation of cultivating a new attitude toward others.
Here are just a couple ways we can encourage our children to not only celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day, but begin to look for ways to help others each and every day:
Simple Random Acts of Kindness for Kids
- Knock on a neighbor’s door and see if they need help around the house or with mowing their lawn.
- Smile and say “Hi” to everyone you meet as you walk down the street, in a hallway or at a store.
- Set up a lemonade stand, but give it all away instead of accepting money.
- Encourage kids to contact a national cause and ask how they can help at a local level.
- Have a garage sale and donate the proceeds to a family in need or charitable organization
- Pray regularly for our government and leaders, regardless of whether or not we agree with their politics
- Bake cookies for teachers at school.
- Pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.
- Compliment the grocery clerk.
- Help a sibling clean their room without them asking.
- Sit next to someone at lunch who is sitting alone.
- Donate gently used toys.
- Write a note or draw a picture for an extended family member you don’t get to see very often.
These are just a few ideas for random acts of kindness. Chances are, if we take the time to ask our kids for their ideas, they’ll come up with something better and even more personal to them.
Also , I recommend reading Same Kind of Different as Me for Kids as a family. Not only will Ron and Denver’s story inspire you, but it will remind each of you willing to listen that kindness often starts with a relationship before it starts with an act.
What are some other ways you can think of to help your children care for the needs of others? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!