Kindness Cultivator

Chapter 11 – Laurie McIntosh

What was it like being on The Ellen Show?

Being on the show was the most surreal moment of my life. Three years later, it STILL doesn’t feel real! I won random tickets online and my husband, sister and mom headed down to LA with me for a taping of the show. We hung out in LA all weekend and attended the taping on February 16th, 2015. After rapping “Ice Ice Baby” in the audience during a commercial (which made Ellen laugh!) I thought my Ellen moment was complete! Little did I know that I would be called down to play Heads Up just minutes later. I won a trip to Vegas by playing the game and as the credits rolled, Ellen looked into my eyes and said “That was a lot of fun! You should come back again sometime!” I didn’t think much of it… I thought she said that to everyone!

One week later we were secretly flown to LA for another taping. We had NO idea we were going to be on the show! We received a Ford Flex (which STILL shocks me and I drive it every single day!) and ALL 12 days of the 12 Days of Giveaways. (Our family made a list every year of who we would give the gifts to.) We returned home in disbelief. Our car arrived 3 months later and the gifts came too! We gave them away to our family, friends and community members we admired and who inspired us with their kindness. It was an incredible experience!

Tell us more about the #KindnessCapes missions your students complete:

We talk about how kindness takes courage. It takes courage to help a stranger. It takes courage to speak up when we know something is wrong. It takes courage to give something away that we really want to keep for ourselves. It takes courage to be kind when no one else is. And because superheroes are the most courageous people of all in a five year old’s mind, the capes become a visual representation that THEY will be Kindness Superheroes for the day.

We start each year with a #KindnessCapes walk that was inspired by a former student in my class. We were discussing the courage it takes to give something away you want to keep when I asked the students what they thought would be the hardest thing for me to give away. Without hesitation, one student called out, “THE COFFEE!” So true!

Now, for our very first #KindnessCapes walk each year, we head over to our local coffee shop and purchase coffee to deliver to someone else. I believe in leading by example. And I believe that them seeing ME give coffee (my very favourite thing in the world in their mind!) away to a stranger is powerful. There is no better way to show them that keeping something to yourself instead of sharing it with someone else is much more rewarding.

One of the most important parts of our #KindnessCapes missions is the reflection we do at the end. We always designate time to share our thoughts with words, art, or stories capturing how we felt during the walk, what we observed, and how we think other people feel about our mission. The reflection helps us to focus on the true meaning behind what we do and how kindness makes us feel. A Kindergarten version of the definition of “helper’s high” plays an important part in our reflection process.

What advice would you give to others who are trying to cultivate kindness in the world?

DON’T

GIVE

UP.

People will judge. People will question your intentions. People will doubt you. But don’t ever give up on being a kinder, gentler version of yourself each and every day.

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Laurie’s Favorite Kindness Quote

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