“You should be kind to everybody, even cats and dogs.” -Jaclyn, 8 years old

Be Kind and Don’t Litter by Jaclyn McClintick

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

“Be kind to your friends and other people too. Grammys and Grampys, moms and dads need kindness. You should be kind to everybody, even cats and dogs.

Be kind to your home town. One way to be kind is to not litter. Littering can kill animals. Littering in your town can make people sick. Even in the ocean don’t litter. Especially in the ocean because animals could die from it. Litter is hazardous to wildlife and other animals because they can get stuck in jars, cups or other kinds of containers that smell of food. This can cause them to suffocate or starve to death.


Wow. She may not have the literary prowess of Dickinson, but she sure knows how to deliver a powerful message! For those of you who don’t know me personally, this is an essay that my 8-year-old daughter Jaclyn brought home from school some weeks ago, and I couldn’t have been more proud of her. I wanted to share her message with all of you not only because I’m a proud mom, but because I think her message is something we could all use, especially in these times.

Not littering is a great thing to aspire to, but I think the meat and potatoes of her message is that we all need to be kind to one another. There is not one person on this Earth who couldn’t use a little bit of kindness and yes, that includes cats and dogs. I’m sorry, but my kid is adorable.

That being said, I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t been affected by the challenges presented in the past year. From coronavirus, to a hotly contested election, to civil unrest and the great chasm that has formed in our nation. The main issue that I see, however, is not political, or viral. One of the biggest problems that we face is that we have forgotten that we should all strive to be kind to other human beings, regardless of their political affiliation or their stance on vaccinations. It is my opinion that the powers that be WANT us to be divided. They want us to be fearful of and hateful towards one another. We need to be stronger than that. We are better than that.

I have seen firsthand how a small act of kindness can soften even the most calloused of hearts. I’ve seen how it can bring people together and inspire hope in the most dire of situations. We are strongest when we are united, and we are strongest when we are kind and when we receive kindness from others. If an 8-year-old can grasp this concept, then certainly we can aspire to be better human beings and work on being kinder to one another.

At the end of the day, you don’t know what anyone else is going through. What you can be sure of is that being kind is not going to hurt anyone. We are all guilty from time to time, and we should all be ashamed that a child has to remind us to be decent human beings.


It’s that simple.

I don’t want this to get long-winded. The message is elementary, if you will (pun intended). You get it. Now put it into action. Let this simple little blog post start a wave of kindness. Pass it on. Like smiles, it’s contagious.

In my next post, I plan to get back to the essence of this blog and dive back into well-known literary classics. However, I couldn’t resist sharing this humble and adorable but oh-so-important message with you all. Stay tuned for what’s coming next and always #bekind.

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