The kids at Sonward were surprised when I gave each group a tube a toothpaste and told them to squeeze it all out as fast as they could! They were excited as each group got all of the toothpaste out of their tubes. THEN, they were given the real challenge… “Get all the toothpaste back in the tube with a toothpick in 10 minutes or less.” They tried, they complained, they struggled, they laughed, they got covered with toothpaste. No matter what they did, they could not get the toothpaste back in the tube.
Then we talked about words. Words we’ve heard and said that were hurtful. We made a list of these words and labeled them “toothpaste words.” You see, once words are said, you can’t take them back. Someone may forgive you, but they will never forget the hurtful things you’ve said. No matter how hard you try, you cannot make up for the things that you say that are unkind. So, now at Sonward, we are practicing how to THINK before we speak. T = Is it TRUE? H = Is it HELPFUL? I = Is it INSPIRING? N = Is it NECESSARY? K = Is it KIND?
If these children can learn this lesson in K – 6th grade that we need to use our words to be kind and encourage others instead of tearing each other down, then they will be a step ahead of many adults and forces of change in the school and the community. Please keep praying for us as we seek to change this community one child, one family at a time… over and over again.