Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Like a Ripple ....
Earlier in the year I did a lesson from the book, Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson. The story is touching because it focuses on missed opportunities to be kind to others and the power of words not spoken.
In the story a new girl, Maya, tries to befriend, Chloe. Chloe and the other girls avoid Maya at recess and exclude her from their activities.
The teacher does a lesson on acts of kindness. She calls the class up to gather around her desk. She has a bowl of water into which she drops a small pebble.
The pebble causes ripples in the water. The teacher says, “This is what kindness does. Each little thing we do goes out like a ripple, into the world.”
Chloe is touched by the lesson. She realizes that she has been unkind to Maya and plans to make it up to Maya. Unfortunately, Maya doesn’t come back to school. The author doesn’t tell us what happens.
It’s an unended story, and the reader is left to conclude what happens. Chloe learns an important lesson on interactions with others. She is haunted by the fact that she will never have an opportunity to make it right with Maya.
We had quite a discussion on the concept of “you rock kindness,” and how words or actions once out there can never be taken back.
It reminds me of a quote from Hearts and Hands, a compilation by Janet Johnson-Heuertz. “The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another’s existence,” by Sue Atchley Ebaugh.
Written by: Jane McGarty, Guidance Counselor
Posted: Mar 26, 2014 by Carrie Johnson