|Kindness in Suffering - Anne Barbour|
For this new year, in the wake of a difficult 2016, I have decided to try to commit a random act of kindness every day. For me, this means quietly and anonymously doing something kind, generous, or unselfish for someone else without expecting praise or even acknowledgement.
This is not an original idea, of course. But it somehow makes me feel like I am contributing something worthwhile to the world at large. Instead of simply tolerating the bad and ugly, I am doing my only tiny part to help counteract the growing movement of incivility in America.
I started this on Jan. 1, but then it dawned on me: Why not ask students to do the same thing and document their efforts with a digital tool?
This is a Random Acts of Kindness Journal!
Kindness can make you feel amazing -- or, sometimes, unappreciated, or sometimes, ashamed or guilty. All of these feelings are part of the human experience -- But my students may not know this. So, using the new GIF Maker digital tool, they can document the feelings they have while participating in a type of digital writing or storytelling.
This tool makes creating a GIF so easy! You simply paste the URL share code from a YouTube or other video into the large window, then the tool takes over. This is a screenshot of the window:
After the video downloads, you will get an active window with sliding bars that you can adjust to select a small clip from your chosen video. A GIF typically is about 1 to 3 seconds. You just slide the bar, watch the clip in the large window, and then scroll down to the bottom and click "Create GIF."
For the Random Acts of Kindness Journal, students TWEET a daily digital journal entry, each one marked with a note of what they did and how it made them feel. They can use a hashtag to keep them all in the same digital "bucket," such as #Katieskindnessjournal.
Here is a sample:
Here's to more kindness in 2017!