Beauty and Kindness

So I just got back last weekend from an inspiring education conference in India, which was fantastic by the way, and that ran the total number of countries that I have visited over the past year or so to an even dozen. I have interacted with hundreds of people from all walks of life over that time, across several continents and cultures, and the enduring take away that has resonated deeply with me, throughout all of the experiences, is that wherever you go in this diverse world of ours people are beautiful, and people are kind. I feel like I have seen the very best of people over the last twelve months, and I have been moved and inspired by all of the people who went out of their way to help me, to get to know me, to listen to me, and to put me at ease. 

I’m not just talking about the people in the schools that I visited at conferences like this past one, although they were all beautiful and inspiring in their own right, but more to the point the strangers I met who had absolutely no stake in being kind to me. The strangers who helped me at airports and in the streets, with directions, with unsolicited advice and recommendations, and who went out of their way to make me feel welcome. The taxi drivers and ticket agents and shop workers and everyone else who were just going about their daily lives, but who still managed to smile at me, and talk to me, and to ask about my life. You see, the world is bursting with beauty and beautiful people, and honestly, at the heart of it all, people are kind everywhere you go. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to see this so authentically over the past year, and it isn’t lost on me that regardless of where we find ourselves across the globe, people are people, and people are good. 

We’re living in an interesting time in our world these days, and it’s very easy to get stuck on all of the negative aspects of life that seem to bombard us at every turn. From the changing landscape revolving around Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, to social media addiction, natural disasters, polarized politics, refugees and war, and to everything else in between, it can be hard to focus on all that is amazing and beautiful in our world. It’s also hard to slow down enough to see all of the beauty that is spilling out of the people that we interact with each and every day. Days can get very busy, we all know, and it’s very easy to speed past people in the hallways and in the streets without even giving them a second glance. Sadly, I’d suggest that this happens more often than not in today’s fast paced world, but when this happens we miss out on one of life’s best opportunities…a quick personal connection that can inspire your day.

A friend of mine asked me recently what, in my opinion, is the best part of traveling and it didn’t take me long to respond. I told him that as much as it’s amazing to see the sights, and taste the food, and to go exploring to the monuments and museums, it’s the human beings that I get to interact with that is easily my favorite part. The smiles and the stories and the similarities that fill my heart with joy, and help me to keep my faith in our collective humanity. Traveling and seeing the world is a gift, and as international school educators we are in the incredible and enviable position to take advantage of it all. We are so fortunate to meet so many different people from so many diverse walks of life, and if that doesn’t inspire you to recognize the beauty in our world then I don’t know what will. 

So, as we speed into the month of March, and stare down the final quarter of the school year, I want to implore you to be inspired by all the beautiful people that we come in contact with each and every day. Notice their smiles, and their kind words, and look hard to notice what makes each person so special and unique. People are filled with goodness and light so take the time to see what makes them shine, I promise it will make your day and fill your heart with joy. Have a wonderful week ahead everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quotes of the Week…

Things must be felt with the heart – Helen Keller

Related Articles – 

The Human Empathy Project

The Good News Network

The Side Effects of Traveling 

Acts of Kindness

TED Talk – 

Why You Should Talk to Strangers

Inspiring Videos – 

The Name

People Are Beautiful 

Beautiful Reactions

Real Beauty is Universal

Don’t Put People in Boxes

One thought on “Beauty and Kindness”

  1. I’m glad to see you equate beauty with people. So often people share travel pictures of things but nary a one of the people who made the things they purchase.

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