I spent some time standing on my front lawn last night, listening to a neighbor. The stress of the pandemic had taken a toll. I didn’t have answers for the thorny questions that troubled this person, and that was okay. We lingered while my dog played until the growing chill nudged us back indoors.
At the end of the conversation, my neighbor expressed gratitude for an increase in front-lawn visits on our street over the past year or so. “It’s something good,” said my neighbor, who made sure that I knew this observation was not meant to diminish the loss and uncertainty of these months.
You may know of Fred Rogers’ advice for children when they encounter frightening situations: “Look for the helpers.” Fred was passing along his mother’s words when, as a child, he had heard scary news on the radio.
One reason I admire Fred Rogers’ work is that he told the truth to children. Fred’s advice was not meant to simply distract them from the fact that the world contains sadness. It was rooted in equally deep and, I believe, more compelling truths: our world is filled with kindness and we have the power to choose our responses.
Good people are everywhere. Thoughtful acts are woven into the fabric of our society, and we can pay attention to them. Cups of tea poured, hands extended, neighbors shoveling walks: these ordinary decisions to care for one another deserve celebration.
In honor of World Kindness Day, which is recognized on November 13th, I want to give away two signed copies of You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood. You can enter to receive one of the copies in four ways:
(1) comment on this blog post,
(2) comment on and share the corresponding World Kindness Day post on my Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/aimeereidbooks/,
(3) tag me on Twitter (@aimeereidbooks) and use the hashtag #WorldKindnessDay, and
(4) tag me on Instagram (@aimeereidbooks), using the hashtag #WorldKindnessDay.
Each of the four options will give you an entry. I’ll hold a random draw for the two prizes on Sunday, November 14th and be in touch with the recipients to find out how you’d like your books personalized and where you’d like me to send them.
If you would like to order a personalized copy of You Are My Friend as a gift, let me know. You can reach me through the contact form on my website. I’ll be happy to personalize an inscription and send a copy out in time for the holidays.
Note for teachers and those who appreciate them: I’m also holding a special giveaway for teachers. Check out my blog post entitled Kindness in the Classroom Giveaway: Toast Sticks and Teaching. Teachers can enter both contests.