Just one act of kindness can make an impact. Join the national movement to Choose Kind, inspired by R.J. Palacio’s debut novel, WONDER.
My childhood could have been more aptly known as The Mean Time, a time when I refused to hold Vicky’s hand during the 3rd grade square dance because everyone said she had cooties. Even when I saw her eyes squinch up so tight so she wouldn’t cry in front of everyone, I still would not take up her hand. Then when I was older, and my skin was so bad there were pimples on top of pimples, I was now the pariah no one would sit next to or hold hands with. One really bad “Hey Pizza Face” bus ride home from school left me near tears and my mom could see something was wrong. When I told her I wanted to die because kids were so mean, she called up the other mothers and kids were made to call me up to apologize… oh, how utterly mortifying that was, worse than the teasing, those apologies. But did I learn to be kind? No, of course not, it was The Mean Time. So when Trinidad came to our school from another country with strange food in her lunchbox that was kind of stinky; with her long hair braided like a peasant; and with an odor around her like men’s aftershave, I ignored her like the rest of them, and she sat alone all that semester. One day she wasn’t there anymore and the teacher wouldn’t tell us why. We need to pay attention to mistreatment when it rears up in front of us and remember to CHOOSE KIND.