From Chicken Soup for the Soul of America

Send Beauty

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, Kate Cain-Bell was fully immersed in teaching “something important” to her first-grade class at Richboro Elementary School in Richboro, Pennsylvania.

Not long into the day, the principal asked her to step out of the classroom for a moment. There, in the hallway, she heard about the devastation in New York and Washington, D.C. It was difficult for her to grasp the news, let alone try to explain it to innocent minds, so she agreed with the school’s decision not to inform the children.

When Kate returned to her waiting students, the class work seemed to pale in comparison to the significance of the day’s events. As a deeply spiritual woman, she felt compelled to impact the world in a positive way during the time of such a crisis. An idea leapt to mind. She drew in a breath, walked to the front of the class and made a request.

“I want each of you to imagine the most beautiful thing you can think of. Hold that thought in your mind and then send it out to the world. Can you all do that?”

A sea of young faces nodded.

“Okay. Let’s do it.”

And with that, a wave of beauty was sent out into a world of ugliness.

At the end of the day, Kate wanted her class to be prepared with some knowledge that they wouldn’t be walking into the same world they’d left that morning. Another idea blossomed. She stood in front of the class again.

“Remember when I asked you to send out your beautiful thought to the world?”

After pausing to accept their nods, Kate continued. “Well, while you were sending out your beauty, someone else sent something not-so-beautiful into the world.”

Kate paused again, to see if her young students understood.

A little girl named Allie piped up, “Well, when I get home, I’ll send them something beautiful right back!”

In the midst of tragedy, triumph comes in many forms. This time, it came in the form of a young child who learned a lesson that was truly “something important.”

Send beauty.

Teri Goggin

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