Written By: Brooklin Allen
I was 11 years old when I attended BBY for the first time. As we stood and said the “Be There Girls” pledge the words filled my heart as we said “ I promise as one of God’s special angels, to base my life on love and service.” I knew right then, that was exactly what I wanted to do.
Some of my favorite parts of the week were the opportunities to serve at the care center, read to the children, and serve at the princess party for our friends with special needs. At the care center, I held hands with a sweet woman who made me smile and laugh, and who loved tight hugs. She told me all about her friends who lived there, and the things they loved to do together. She told me about her family and showed me pictures on the wall of each one. She loved it when we sang songs to her, together we sang “I am a child of God.” My heart was full as I hugged her goodbye and I was filled with love for my new friend.
When I left BBY that year, I knew that I wanted to be intentional and base my life on love and service. Over the years I have had many special experiences serving that have impacted my life. Last year, I founded a social impact initiative called “ The Ripple Effect” spreading Kindness, Positivity, and Hope in the lives of others both online and offline. You can follow my journey @the.ripple_effect. This year I have had countless experiences where I have seen the power of kindness and I have seen it reach into the hardest, darkest parts of people's lives and bring hope.
When we are KIND, we inspire others to BE KIND, and it creates a RIPPLE EFFECT that spreads outwards. Just as a pebble creates waves when it is dropped in a pond, acts of KINDNESS ripple outwards, touching others lives and inspiring kindness everywhere the wave goes.
President Thomas S Monson once said “ Every day of our lives we are given opportunities to show LOVE and KINDNESS to those around us...May we show increased KINDNESS toward one another, and may we ever be found doing the work of the Lord”
In High School I had a seminary teacher who said his biggest regret was that he didn’t take the time to impact the hearts of more people. I made a goal to be intentional and to impact as many hearts as I could. I decided that I was going to learn the name and story of one new person every day and I found that in the process, it was my heart that was impacted the most.
One day I was walking out of my High School to meet up with my friends for lunch. As I walked down the hallway, I saw a girl sitting on the floor I had never seen before. She was looking down at her phone. I complimented her on her sweatshirt, and she looked up and smiled. I kept walking down the stairs, but as soon as my foot hit the bottom stair, I felt the spirit prompt me to go back and invite her to go to lunch. At first, I was afraid, thinking she might not want to go, but I followed the impression and went back. She said yes, at lunch that day she told me that she was new to our school, and she had been eating lunch every day alone. That day I found a new friend, and I saw how simple acts of kindness can make the biggest difference.
I love this message from President Wirthlin that says “ Jesus, our Savior was the epitome of kindness and compassion. He healed the sick. He spent much of His time ministering to the one or the many. He spoke compassionately to the Samaritan woman who was looked down upon by many. He instructed His disciples to allow the little children to come unto Him. He was kind to all who had sinned, condemning only the sin, not the sinner, He Kindly allowed thousands of Nephites to come forward and feel the nail prints in His hands and His feet. Yet His greatest act of Kindness was found in His atoning sacrifice for each of us.” I love the Savior and am so grateful for His example of kindness.
During this time of quarantine, and uncertainty, there are so many ways we can reach out to others with kindness and love. You don’t have to look very far for someone who is struggling, there are people all around us who need a little more hope. I have 4 invitations for you to put KINDNESS into action this week!
1. Do an intentional act of kindness for someone in your own home. Make your siblings bed, write a note of gratitude to your mom, or clean up something without being asked.
2. Call your grandparents on the phone and talk to them. There are so many people who are lonely during this time. Share your love for them. Ask them questions. Take time to make them smile.
3. Think of one someone in your life who is struggling right now. Pray for them every day this week. Pray that they will be strengthened and uplifted. Pray that they can feel our Father in Heaven’s love for them.
4. If you have social media, post something positive this week on your story. It could be a favorite quote or a scripture, or comment something positive on someone else’s post. Tag @the.ripple_effect and use the hashtag #thepositiverippleeffect and let’s watch the ripple grow!
My favorite quote says “Kindness is one of the most forgotten yet most wonderful gifts you can give. It heals wounds and brightens days. It brings us together and reminds us that we are more similar than we are different. Sometimes it’s easier to be cold and distant and harder to be warm and vulnerable. CHOOSE KINDNESS ANYWAYS. Be an encourager. Be someone who helps others. Give love. Have compassion. Stay humble. It is the little acts of kindness that make the biggest difference.” - Walk the Earth
Have an amazing week! I am so excited to be with you this year at BBY as we find Joy in the Journey putting kindness into action every step of the way.
With much love and admiration for each one of you,
* Learn more about spreading kindness on Brooklin's site by clicking HERE
Follow along @the.ripple_effect and @misspleasantgrove.ut