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These 6 Kids’ Drawings Of Kindness Nail The Best Thing About It

“Kids are intrinsically kind”, says Dr. Michael Tomasello, a professor of developmental psychology at Duke University. They are also, as parents or teachers can attest, prone to bouts of egocentric behavior, riding the complex ups and downs of on-again/off-again compassion over the course of their development.

While greater compassion can, and should, be fostered in kids ― whether through the acknowledgement of a kind act, or through modeling desired behaviour ― there is something incredible about seeing the wheels turn in a child’s head as they make a connection for themselves to the organic reward of kindness that goes beyond the “should” of being kind.

To demonstrate the impact of this connection, we partnered with Dignity Health, and asked a handful of kids ages four to eleven to draw acts of kindness that they had recently encountered. What they drew, and what they said about the power of kindness, is both heartwarming and illuminating. See for yourself!

1. Friendship, For The Win
Elon, age 6
"My friend asked me if I wanted to play. It made me feel happy." - Elon, age 6
2. Human Kindness Comes In Loaves--And Knots
Lucie, age 11
"One time my babysitter and I gave our garlic knots to a homeless person. It made me feel good because I was helping someone. Little things make a difference." - Lucie, age 11
3. Altruism In Action
Cecilia, age 8
"A girl fell down and cut her leg. Another girl helped her up and took her to the nurse's office. It made me feel sad that the girl fell down but then I was happy when someone helped her." - Cecilia, age 8
4. Watching Out For Each Other
Oren, age 8
"True kindness is when someone stands up for someone else!" - Oren, age 8
5. Shelter From The Storm
Davia, age 5
"It was raining and a man I didn't know gave me an umbrella." Davia, age 5
6. Champions For Kindness
Sasha, age 8
"My mom picked me up after a playdate and while we were walking home I saw an old lady who needed help carrying her groceries up her steps. My mom helped while I stood nearby holding up the cups I painted at my friend's house saying, 'Yay! You can do it!' I was glad my mom helped her. And I feel that my cheering her on helped too." - Sasha, age 8

More than a century of experience and years of scientific research have shown that medicine is more effective when delivered with a kind heart. Dignity Health believes that humankindness holds the power to heal the mind, body, and spirit.

The Great Kindness Challenge, of which Dignity Health has been a supporter for four years, has worked to create a culture of kindness in elementary, middle, and high school students worldwide since 2008. This year’s challenge takes place worldwide January 23 - 27.