I have been sharing my thoughts monthly on key qualities for emotionally healthy living. As adults, if we incorporate these core concepts in to our own well being and then introduce it, demonstrate it, role model it to our youth, we give them a broad spectrum framework.

Kindness is something that can be easily trivialized, but is an essential aspect of connection, human to human emotional thread. I believe it is currently not being portrayed as strongly in the media as it should, and therefore is being devalued as a critical aspect of living well in community.

Kindness can be so easily given: The simple act of saying thank you to the barista who prepares your coffee, holding the door for someone who is struggling, doing something nice for someone who could use an uplift, smiling at the person sitting across from you. Kindness makes a statement that we feel empathy and understand that everyone needs a little something extra at any moment. If we share ourselves through kindness we create connection that ties and lifts.

Helping youth deeply understand the importance of kindness as shown through empathy, reaching out, thinking of others takes them out of themselves and establishes the value of human to human, community to community, group to group respect and caretaking.