I was asked recently to share the story of how Kindness U got was born, and let me tell you – it’s a sad story…
…But if you’re wondering, I’m going to share the very personal story on how and why Kindness U was born. This story reveals an important insight into why I was able to become so motivated to join the Kindness movement!
Here’s what happened…
A dear friend and her husband -- a couple with two young children – lost their lives in a motorcycle accident. The reality of it was horrifying, and inevitably, compelled me to think deeply about my own life. It made me wonder, what if this were me? What if my children were left without parents? Who would know my wishes and dreams for them? How would their new guardians, even with the best of intentions, know which park, which book, which food, is my child’s favorite? I struggled with these questions and more, knowing that life can just catch us unprepared sometimes, but at the same time, I had to do something to alleviate the anguish I felt whenever I thought of my friends’ children, and all that could be missing from their lives.
Out of this tragedy, it became important to me that my children know my voice. What I would say and when? What song daddy sang to them before bed, where we took them on the weekends, and my grandmother’s words of wisdom. I want them to know our family recipes, family stories and maybe even some family secrets. I would want my children to know which of our family and friends would be an active and guiding force in their lives, and why. It’s my intention for them to discover these things, not through anecdotes they might hear from others, or through assumptions and best guesses, but through my words and my writing, in a beautiful keepsake they can look to for comfort, forever.
And then I had the Aha! moment.
Jonah is 6 years old third born of my four children. He is also the most complicated, sensitive, caring but can also exhibit outbursts of anger that’s disturbing to see in a child so young. Then, just a week after the Sandy Hook tragedy, I was reminded of a comment my sister made after ending her afternoon of watching Jonah by telling me that she would never babysit for him again, and she pronounced him to be the next "Columbine kid." I was unable to sleep that night, feeling the sting of my sister's words. I struggled through myriad sensations of guilt and confusion and embarrassment and weariness and, finally, shame.
I knew in an instant that the project I had started two years ago, a website that would encourage parents to record family traditions as a keepsake for their children that would be cherished long after their passing, had to be more than that. I knew in an instant that Jottibles, the working title for my website, has to be interactive and enable “ THE VILLAGE” to teach their children right from wrong. Jottibles must help instill in children the time-honored values of empathy, kindness, honesty, love, compassion , gratitude and integrity. Jottibles must reinforce every parent's responsibility to raise her children to become good people.
That’s how Kindness U was born. The end. Subscribe to our newsletter if you want to be part of our village!