In a world often filled with suffering and turmoil, there are still good-hearted people making the world brighter. One such example comes from a heartwarming viral moment in 2019 involving a coach and a young student.
Going Viral For A Kind Act
In 2019, Jonathan Oliver, a physical education teacher from Georgia, became an internet sensation for a simple act of kindness. It all began when a kindergartener approached him, asking for help fixing her ponytail. Without a second thought, he paused his lesson to lend a helping hand.
His act of kindness went viral, and he even made an appearance on Good Morning America. During the interview, he humorously admitted that while he's skilled at fixing ponytails (thanks to his own daughter), his expertise stops there. He jokingly added, "It was a good thing she asked for a ponytail. Anything else, I'd say, 'You better ask your mom.'"
Unaware that he was being filmed, Oliver's immediate response to assist little Kristen touched the hearts of millions. Within just two weeks, the video garnered an astounding 3 million views, spreading warmth and kindness across the internet.
"We want to make them feel like they're at home and that they enjoy being here," Oliver shared. "We try to love on them as much as possible. To me, it was just a ponytail."
Kristen's mother shared her happiness about the incident, saying, "I always know that Kristen is in very good hands with him."
"I thought it was really cute because her father he does their hair a lot. We have five girls and one son. So, when I'm working, he has to pick up the weight of doing their hair," she added.
Several factors make this act of kindness truly special. In a society that has often emphasized traditional gender roles, Jonathan Oliver's gesture stands out. He stepped up to assist a young girl with her hair, just as he would for his own daughter. Despite his limited hairdressing skills, his actions highlight the modern approach of sharing responsibilities and both parents caring for their children. Oliver chose to nurture the student with the same care he gives to his own kids, which is something most parents hope for when sending their children out into the world.
Additionally, this interaction between a young student and her educator underscores the importance of looking out for one another and providing compassionate guidance to children.
Appreciation For Educators
Despite the challenges teachers often face, including burnout and low pay, their profession is undeniably one of the most crucial. Teachers play a fundamental role in shaping children's futures, helping them become educated and skilled individuals. They spend a significant amount of time with children, sometimes even more than their own parents due to work schedules.
It is essential for teachers to foster respect and care for their students, creating a sense of security. Such acts of kindness instill in future generations the value of treating one another with love, kindness, and respect.
When children experience acts of kindness, like having their needs met and being treated with respect, they reap various benefits beyond improved interpersonal interactions. According to Psychology Today, children who receive kindness and respect tend to have higher self-esteem, increased motivation for success, and enhanced creativity. These positive experiences also lead to better self-care and improved conflict resolution skills.
Moreover, children tend to grasp lessons better when they see them in action rather than just hearing about them. When parents and teachers collaborate to treat their children, students, colleagues, and each other with care and respect, these behaviors become ingrained in a child's mind. Over time, they develop into habits that will shape their future.
Given that many individuals may need to heal from their own childhood experiences, showing love and engaging in acts of kindness towards others, including children, might not come naturally to everyone. Here are some simple everyday examples of how to treat others, including children, with love, respect, and kindness.
1. Read the Room: One of the simplest acts of kindness is to observe the people around you and respond to their needs. Offer support, give them space, or just lend an empathetic ear, especially when someone is going through a tough or stressful time.
2. Use Manners: Basic politeness goes a long way. Remember to say hello, excuse me, please, and thank you at appropriate times. Respect personal space and cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
3. Leave a Note: Whether it's to apologize for accidentally damaging someone's property or simply to brighten someone's day, leaving a thoughtful note can make a difference. Consider thanking a veteran with a note on their car windshield or painting rocks with uplifting messages for others to find.
4. Learn from the "Leave a Penny, Take a Penny" Jar: Many businesses have jars to help those who are a few cents short on their bills. You can apply this generosity to everyday life by donating to help pay off school lunch debts, sharing extra garden produce with food pantries, or leaving items for neighbors to take.
5. Offer Genuine Praise: Recognize that everyone is trying their best in life's challenges. Don't hesitate to compliment someone on their efforts or their style choices, as a kind word can brighten someone's day.
A single act of kindness begins at home, extends to school, and has the potential to transform the world into a more compassionate and loving place for all. Fortunately, we have dedicated educators like Jonathan Oliver to guide us on this journey.