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The Be Grateful Project

April 8, 2015

As you may have been reading, my nephew and I orchestrated a mural project at his school and presented it to the entire student body on Monday, March 30 – the day they returned to school from their two-week break.  We kept it a secret mostly and brought the students out to the black top for a first-thing-Monday-morning-surprise-assembly.

I was excited to talk in front of a crowd (of 9 year olds, ha!) and bring my message to more people but in preparing for my speech – all I kept thinking was how impressed I was with my nephew.  He saw something happening (me putting “be grateful” places) and decided it should happen in his world (at his school) – and then he went and made it happen.

I struggled in finding my words for the speech and then listened to my nephew deliver his – full of sincerity and passion with no second-thought about how it might come across.  Kids are so real and true.

We tried to video-tape the whole event but Aiden’s speech is all we captured – which is what I’m the most grateful for in my life right now.  His words go straight to my heart – and straight to the heart of the matter.  Be kind.  Be brave.  Be grateful. Take action and make things better.  “Maybe use these words to think about the way you treat others or yourself.”

The other beautiful part of this experience – was how easily and immediately the kids bought into the idea.  We had each of the student council kids stand up after I spoke and read what it meant to them to be kind, brave and grateful.  They all spoke loudly into the microphone with their passionate thoughts on what it all meant.  (ok so this is the other part we caught on video.. I caught just a snippet on my iPhone before a kid next to me started spitting on the ground repeatedly and loudly.. oh kids 😉 )

Additionally, my sister had created in-class projects for each of the grade-levels and we gave each teacher one of my stickers and a pack of blank labels for each kid to create their own.

IMG_5014 IMG_5010

I loved being in front of young people and talking to them about such a helpful perspective to remember.  I loved seeing how easily they agreed, and how passionately they’ve made it their own.

The younger generation is listening so closely.  I’m grateful to have started this conversation.  Who’s up next?

Here’s the first post I wrote about the very beginning of the project:

And here’s the second post, from when we finally got started:

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