“That winter, snow fell on everything, turning the world a brilliant white.” That is the opening sentence in one of my favorite children’s books, Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. In the story we meet Maya who enters a new classroom for the very first time; only to be stared at because her clothes aren’t new. The story is told in first person by Chloe, one of Maya’s classmates, who ignores Maya on more than one occasion. Maya tries to be friendly, and asks Chloe and her friends to play everyday, but soon she realizes she does not fit in; each day she plays alone at recess. And then one day, Maya is not in school. That day, the teacher brings a bowl of water into the classroom and the kids gather around it. She drops a small stone into the water and says, “This is what kindness does. Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.” The teacher lets each child drop a stone into the water and say what kind thing they had done. Chloe holds the small stone in her hand, but passes on her turn to share. Chloe’s teacher announces that Maya’s family moved and she would not be coming back to school. At the end of the story Chloe walks home alone, “My throat filled with all the things I wished I would have said to Maya. Each kindness I had never shown.”

I taught school for many years and loved using books to open discussion on important topics. I was moved to write this post today because of what I read on Tina Schell’s blog: Travels and Trifles. In her post called: Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed, Tina talks about the tragedy in France and how we must start with our children, as they are our future. In Tina’s words, “We can teach them that hate and fear are not the answers that will remake the world.”

Each Kindness is beautifully written; maybe you have someone in your life that would enjoy it.

Please click on the link above to read Tina’s entire post.


  10 comments for “Kindness

  1. January 12, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Thanks so much for the lovely comment and link Ellen. And I loved your post and story😊


    • January 12, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Hi Tina,
      Thank-you! You are a gifted writer and photographer. The subject you wrote about spoke to me in many ways. 🙂


  2. janette andrews
    January 12, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I loved the post on “kindness” and also your note you sent me with the photo you took. It means so much to get a card made by hand and I love your photos knowing they come from your heart and home. Love you, Janette


    • January 12, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Thank-you for your kind words and I love getting your handmade cards! 🙂

      The photo was taken last January after a rain. The temperatures dropped to freezing; ice crystals appeared shimmering like diamonds.


  3. January 17, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Going to look for it at the bookstore today–thanks for the tip!


    • January 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Lori,
      You will love the book, it has beautiful pictures and the words flow like poetry.
      Thank-you for stopping by and commenting on my blog. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 19, 2015 at 12:49 pm

        Read the book yesterday–didn’t realize it’s a picture book, definitely a quick read! 😉 Sooooo lovely! Brought tears to my eyes! Thanks for sharing!!!


      • January 20, 2015 at 12:44 pm

        I’m glad you enjoyed the book. I remember reading it to my first graders when I was teaching a couple years ago; I got teary eyed. I’s an emotional book but oh so good. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Renee
    January 18, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks for reminding me about that lovely book. I read the story to my class this past week and had each child tell us their act of kindness and tossed a stone in the water to see the ripples. I passed it on to another first grade class. Thank you!!


    • January 18, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      Awww Renee, what a powerful lesson to do with first graders! The kids probably loved sharing their acts of kindness.
      And your act of kindness was passing the book along. 🙂


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