January 24th, 2013
The Newtown Norm
Ok, writing a blog: for me, this is most certainly ‘out of the norm’ – a first, ever, to be exact. But what is ‘in the norm’ in Newtown nowadays? ‘Normal’ was extinguished on the morning of December 14, 2012. The new norm is far from normal. The new norm includes mourning and grieving. But the new norm also includes reprioritizing our lives. The new norm gives us perspective. The new norm has focused us on positively impacting the world. The new norm, we hope, will be about fostering kindness in our children. And the Newtown kids will lead the way!
Last week was filled with achievements for our Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness program. Most importantly, we met with about 200 of our Newtown 5th graders. Charlotte’s brother, Guy, and I led the kids through some really interactive, fun discussions and games about kindness. The kids’ excitement and interest were amazing. The most gratifying result of the event came four days later, when a recipient of an Act of Kindness (AoK) contacted us! A 5th grader had completed an AoK for a 1st grader from Sandy Hook Elementary School. Charlotte’s ‘Kindness Card’ was passed along with the act.
The Newtown kids are leading the way. We are grateful to Mrs. King (and the other teachers) for welcoming us in; she will continue on as a leader of change in our school system and we are inspired and heartened by her words, “The students are very excited about the idea of “paying forward” an act of kindness, that will then be passed on even further to someone else. The potential ripple effect means that their simple act of kindness can have far reaching impact, and as long as everyone keeps the promise to pass it on, who knows where it will lead? All of this only goes to show what we have known all along: Kids have the power to change the world, and Newtown kids are leading the way.” The new norm.