A Few of My Favorite Things

A song that comes to mind as I watch people exchanging not only gifts but pleasantries this time of year is My Favorite Things, beautifully sung by the talented Julie Andrews in the movie The Sound Of Music. But as I reflect on my personal favorite things, the Art Buchwold adage — “The best things in […]

Six Ways to Warm Your World With Kindness

Tomorrow — November 13 — is World Kindness Day. To help you get in the spirit, we’re posting a list of six ways you can show kindness. Learn about the day, and get more ideas, on the website of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. This list is excerpted from Barbara Gruener’s keynote address to […]

Kindness Matters

Guest post by Jill McManigal I’ve always known that kindness matters. I’ve seen how a simple smile, a thoughtful note or a holding of the door can shift someone’s day. What I didn’t realize was how a collective kindness effort could transform an entire school. I am a former elementary school teacher, a mother of […]

How Do We Make Caring Commonplace?

By Barbara Gruener Early last week, a recent report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education caught my eye. “The Children We Mean to Raise: The Real Message Adults Are Sending About Values” reported that most young people in a recent survey said their parents and teachers rank achievement and happiness over caring for others. I immediately thought of my friend Sheila Sjolseth. She’s […]

Driving Home Lessons About the Six Pillars

Some look back on it as a joyous rite of passage, a time of liberation and adventure. Others mostly remember the rattled nerves. For better or worse, learning to drive a car is something we never forget. Of course, there’s more to it than knowing how to squeeze into that parallel parking spot without leaving a trail of […]

The Kindness Clause

By Barbara Gruener “Today I’m thinking about something I heard 13 years ago when I attended a CHARACTER COUNTS! Character Development Seminar in Houston and was introduced to the Six Pillar framework. It went something like this: Think about what you want people to say at your funeral, then live life backward. It resonated with […]