I just received the most amazing complement on my recently-released novel, “Paper Girl.” A teacher from Tennessee tells me that the story has changed the way she looks at her students! First, let me say I am both flattered and honored by this statement. I wrote the story from a place of love and empathy for teenagers. Secondly, I want to say how grateful I am to teachers. These human angels pour their hearts and minds into teaching and encouraging the young people of the world to reach for their dreams. I am grateful for these wonderful people who do so much for the young, thereby investing in the world’s future.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Treat others with kindness. Everyone you meet is fighting some type of battle.” The protagonist in my novel, “Paper Girl” is 15, and she fights against clinical depression and perfection every day of her life. She also has other tough battles to fight at school and at home.
The power of kindness is stronger than darkness. You just never know how far a little kindness in the form of inclusiveness can go. See someone at school sitting by himself? Why not say, “Hi,” or invite him to join you for lunch. Like his shirt? Tell him!
Kindness goes a very long way in boosting an otherwise-lonely person’s day. You don’t have to solve all of the person’s problems, but you can at least be kind and realize that they are probably fighting some type of battle. These battles could be big or small, but they are still battles. Things like: feeling misunderstood; loneliness; perhaps being bullied by another student or even a sibling; stresses at home with parents’ divorce or financial problems; concerns over a grandparent’s health; sadness over the loss of a family pet. There are any number of battles we fight on a daily basis. Be purposeful and notice a person who needs kindness today.