Be Kind

I just finished Demi Moore’s raw and revealing memoir Inside Out. I was a huge Demi fan from the moment I first saw her in St. Elmo’s Fire. Ghost opened in August 1990, a month before I gave birth to Jenna. I got the short Demi Ghost haircut thinking it would be easy when my first baby arrived. (I may have a slight problem copying hairstyles, since in junior high I tried unsuccessfully to have wings during my Farrah Fawcett phase, and in high school I had a Dorothy Hamill short cut, but that is another story.) 

I was two months pregnant with Kelsy in 1991 when Demi did her famous, or infamous, Vanity Fair cover, nude and pregnant. A photo that was intended to be a private gift was selected by the brave magazine as its cover. Controversial as it may have been, I found it incredibly beautiful and liberating. So, I shed the tent dresses of my pregnancy with Jenna and began to appreciate the female body creating life in a wonderful, new way. 

While I never knew her personal struggle with childhood trauma, Demi was an actor I believed was a humble and kind person. After reading her book, I am sure of it. Childhood trauma comes in many forms and as educators we need to remember that each child comes to school with a set of experiences, issues, concerns, and questions that differ from his or her classmates. This is why when my children were growing up I always told them to be kind above all else – because you have no idea what someone may be dealing with in their life. 

Being kind has so many benefits to you and to the person who receives your kindness. If we can internalize kindness and make it a part of who we are, we can live a happier and healthier life. Scientific research shows that being kind releases feel-good hormones, reduces anxiety, improves heart health, and reduces stress. Kindness also builds relationships, and positive relationships new and old bring great joy and purpose to our lives. 

Always be kind. Someone’s health might depend on it – and it might be yours. 

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