Week 11 - KindnessBy Jeff Bryan
Back when I was a student searching for Akron on the world map, I dreamed I would someday be in a position to give back to the community that had done so much for me.
For an overview of each weekly slide presentation, please skip below to your specific grade level.
To see the 1-page Kindness Character Card and share it with your students’ families, click here.
For the P2 Reflection Journals, used by all elementary students at the end of the week, click here.
Starting Monday, students are learning about kindness. Kindness has been a foundation of moral and spiritual life across cultures and religions throughout history. This character strength is grounded in the belief of a common humanity in which others are worthy of care, attention, affection, and compassion. Aristotle defined kindness as, ”helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped.”
Kind people think about the needs and feelings of other people, and then act to help those people. Kind people are selfless. That is why a true act of kindness is distinct from helping another person in order to simply gain something for yourself. An individual with the strength of kindness helps others because it’s the right thing to do, not because they expect any reciprocal treatment or gain in reputation.
This week’s character strength example is LeBron James. LeBron is not only one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He’s generous with his time, energy, and resources — and is actively involved in giving back to his community. Whether it’s through the LeBron James Family Foundation, designing a sneaker for disabled athletes, or simply how he conducts himself as a teammate, he displays the character strength of kindness. The below video shows an example of LeBron’s kindness and his post-game interview reveals why he does what he does; he believes “this game is so much more than basketball.”
So, why does kindness matter?
For individuals, kindness is correlated with desirable developmental outcomes. It is related to other-oriented
emotions, like empathy (the ability to experience the emotional state of another person) and sympathy (the tender emotion of concern for another’s difficulty). Psychologists have even traced kindness and generosity as the keys to healthy, happy, and lasting marriages.
On a group level, kindness is very important. In addition to empathy and sympathy, the character strength of kindness is indicative of an individual’s moral reasoning capacity and level of social responsibility. That means people who develop kindness possess a strong personal ethical responsibility to care for other people. And, their acts of kindness towards others lead to additional acts of kindness by those who have been helped.
And, as a reminder, you can find all of our weekly slide presentations on our website’s Resources page here. This page is the place that we recommend you go to access all of the resources — not via Google Drive folders.
To find your grade level’s presentation, you can simply type the word “kindness” into the Resource Title search bar or sort by Character Strength and select Kindness. Each of those options will provide you with 10 slide presentations and one 1-page character card. For a simple overview of the Resources page, with pictures and videos, click here.