Kindess Above Malice {for Kameron}

This morning I saw a story on The Early Show that broke my heart. Another piece on someone’s precious child taking their own life because of bullies.

It cuts me to the core.

I want you to look at this boy. His name is Kameron. He was Kevin and Wanda Jacobsen’s beautiful son.

Look at that smile … that devilish sort of teenage smirk. Without even knowing him, I’d bet he was the kind of kid all parents hope for …  fun to be around, playful, full of love.

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He was tortured—verbally and physically—by some classmates, once to the point of being hospitalized. And after he couldn’t take the abuse any longer, he called it quits in a very final way. I just can’t bring myself to say it in plainer terms.

And it makes me wonder:

what the #$! are we teaching our kids?

In this era of

“we’d-better-start-T-ball-by-age-4-or-he-won’t-make-the-pros” and

“when-should-I-enroll-my-toddler-in-a-French-immersion-class?” and

“does he or she have the right clothes or the right shoes or the right [whatever] …”

are we forgetting the most important—the most important, people!—lessons, like be kind, show compassion, use your words carefully, and treat people with respect?

In this world where shades of grey are everywhere, do we remember that there is a difference between what is right and what is wrong?

Are we teaching our children that every one of us is precious and our differences make us that way: it doesn’t matter if we’re long and lean or short and stout, our hair is curly, straight, spiked, or with a streak of blue in it. Whether we like sports, or art, or music, or simply just hanging out.

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Are we telling them that above all, we expect them to conduct themselves with kindness, and fairness, and that we’d be disappointed with them if they made someone cry or feel badly about themselves?

Or are we so concerned with other things that we’re forgetting the simple, basic, and golden rules? Generosity of heart, to me, is more important than straight A’s, a starring role, or making varsity. I bet it is to you, too.

My son knows that I don’t like words like fat or ugly because they serve no other purpose than to belittle someone. He also knows that while he can hate a hot dog, the color pink, or the smell of dirty socks, the term is never to be used with people. He gets it: even at 5 years old.

And on the flip side, are we arming our kids with the knowledge that they may run into someone someday who says something mean, but that they have the right

not to believe it!

People can say whatever they like, but it doesn’t mean it’s true. If you tell them often enough, they’ll remember when they need to.

Please, let’s all think about what we’re emphasizing to our children … what lessons we really want them to embrace. The ones that will benefit them for all time, not just first, second, sixth, or ninth grade.

Kindness above all. Let’s reassess, and honor Kameron.

To read more about KAM: Kindness Above Malice, the foundation Kameron’s parents established in their son’s name, please click here.

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Comments

  1. Heartbreaking indeed, Michelle. Thank you for sharing this. I had not heard about this sweet boy and his family.
    I shared your post on fb.

    xo*tricia

  2. Joan Jacobsen says:

    What a wonderful post. Thank you so much Michelle for acknowledging my family’s story and raising your child to be a kind and caring person. It’s outstanding parents such as yourself who make a difference in this world. I commend you for your goodness.

  3. This also reminds me of how important it is to teach kids to stand up for others. We talk about this all the time in my classroom. I never tell my students to “just worry about yourself” no matter how often I’m tempted to try to cut down on tattling. Instead we talk about being a team or a family and taking care of each other and not letting anyone cut someone else down in our hearing. It’s tough, but kids do get it. My heart aches for this poor family.

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