Its hard to believe schools started again already. Where did summer go? But ready or not, here we are at the start of a new year.
A new beginning is always a wonderful thing. Any mistakes, disappointments and failures from last year are ancient history.
Kids, there are brand new exciting experiences waiting for you. There are challenging goals to be set. There are adventures and opportunities for you to tackle. Its like having a clean slate, and you decide what will be written on it.
This school year also will be full of decisions and choices to make. Some big, some little, but all the choices you make will define who you are and will reflect the quality of your character.
And your character is very important. Its something that helps you decide right from wrong. Its sort of like a lighthouse that guides you in the right direction when you have choices to make.
Id like to ask you to do me a favor. As you start this school year, I want you to know there will be those you meet who are less fortunate or maybe not quite as smart or perhaps do not have as many friends as you.
What I would ask you to do is to try really hard to be extra kind to them. Talk to them. Care about them. Spend time with them. They have feelings just like you that easily can be crushed.
Kindness and compassion is what I teach in schools. Do you know why I do this? Because teaching people to be kind is good for everyone, people and animals alike.
Ive worked in animal welfare my whole life, and Ive seen a lot of things. Ive seen some great kids whove served as volunteers at animal shelters. Ive seen some young kids donate their allowances to help animals. Ive seen some other kids conduct food drives for hungry animals.
But Ive also seen some pretty horrible things that school kids have done to helpless puppies and kittens. I have been shocked that these kids could hurt animals so deeply, hear them cry and scream and still continue to inflict pain on them and not even care.
This is where I need your help. You can help me change the world by showing its cool to be kind. I need you to help me set the example by being kind and compassionate to everyone, including the kid in your class with raggedy clothes as well as the homeless dog that just wants a family to love.
This year show your strong character. Show that kindness counts. Show that it matters how you treat others. Do the right thing. Make me proud.
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.acpup.com or see his Facebook page.