PLANTING KINDNESS

 Reflecting back to when I was a little boy, I am reminded of my first grade teacher at Beadle Elementary School in Rapid City, South Dakota. Her name was Mrs. Odem. She was a Southern Belle. She was nice. She was pretty. She was tall. I can still see her in my mind’s eye. I can still hear her voice and southern charm. The one thing I remember most about Mrs. Odem was her kindness toward me.

Each day after school she would have any student who wanted to, stay to clean the chalkboard. I loved that job and volunteered often, for many reasons I am sure. (Did I mention she was pretty? and SO nice!)

One special memory that has stayed with me all these years is the day Mrs. Odem took me to her home and invited me in for chocolate chip cookies and milk. I even got to ride to her house in her convertible. I was truly in heaven! Now I realize she was probably kind to all her students, though at the time, I believed I was her favorite student and that's why she was especially kind to me. Obviously, her kindness toward me had a profound impact on me, and still does to this day.

Hopefully today, as I attempt to live with kindness in my heart I am planting kindness seeds in the lives of others, just like Mrs. Odem did for me.

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