“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
I found a poem written by a children’s book author, Patricia Gatto. She wrote a picture book on bullying. She likes to end her presentation on bullying with the following poem. I plan on reading this poem to my own kids, in hopes of generating a discussion on being kind to others. If you are a teacher, you could read this poem during a morning meeting.
I always love to hear children discuss ways to help others. During my school counselor days, I created a club called Kids Who Care for fourth graders. We met once a week during lunch for 6 weeks. It was amazing to see children making a difference in the lives of other people. My hope is that you will share the poem with at least 1 child. It’s a great way to lead into a conversation about bullying. Sometimes kids are often being bullied, but too scared to tell anyone.
by Patricia Gatto
Be kind to others,
take a good look around.
Although we are different,
Try not to judge,
pick on, or tease.
Treat each other fairly,
with kindness and ease.
Wait until you know,
what’s deep down inside.
You might have a friend,
standing right by your side.
There’s one more poem that I would like to share. My son brought this poem home in the school newsletter earlier this month. I read it to my 10-year-old daughter today. Then asked her, “What does it mean to see beyond labels, beyond accents, gender or skin color?”
A Prayer for the World
Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges,
the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us whenever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels, beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the earth, nourished by rain; bring forth flowers to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to the skies.
What are you doing for others?