The following is from the "The Rabbit Effect" by Dr. Kelli Harding.
"Oxytocin is known as the "love hormone" because it's involved in bonding, empathy and trust. It is released at childbirth and during breast-feeding, as well as when we hug, kiss, and snuggle.
Oxytocin helps us remember faces and build connection, and it increases steadily during the first six months of parenting for moms and dads."
"Oxytocin helps us feel calm, appreciated and even sing more."
"There's a biological reason that a friends supportive hand on our shoulder
or a pat on the back comforts us."
"The sense of connection from touch is more than emotional attachment. There's a physiological factor. Holding hands lowers our blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol."
This powerful research encourages me to continue to speak to the power and importance of connection in education. How do we connect? A high five, fist bump, handshake, hug, pat on the back. Maybe connection is through the eyes. A long, sustained listening with sincere eye contact. We must continue to create connection and build relationships with our students and our colleagues. Relationships are the most important part of a happy, healthy and successful life. We must invest time and energy in building classroom and school relationships. We must celebrate our various backgrounds, cultures, histories and skills.
We all need to be loved.
"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others,
or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope,
and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring,
those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." - Robert F. Kennedy
What can I do today to be kind? What small good can I offer my little corner of the world? Our hellos, thank you's, have a good day and can I help you with that, are all micro kindnesses. Micro kindnesses are those daily thoughtful actions that bring good into the world. Anything that supports human value, growth, health and development, helps create a community of emotional safety and caring.
Kindness requires courage. There is nothing courageous us about manipulation, lack of civility, we're shutting down and opposing perspective. Real kindness requires strength, compassion, empathy, patience and generosity of spirit.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
We must conquer fear. Let us all pray and act to be courageous and kind and know that every micro kindness is an act of love.