An interesting program took place last week at the Regional High School in Yorkton.
It is one of the simplest of ideas, yet it is one which is so simple, it shouldn’t actually need a program to be part of the school’s culture, or for that matter part of a broader societal mindset.
The program, which was launched to coincide with Education Week in the province, was called Pay It Forward. The name is not a particularly telling one in terms of what it means. It has nothing to do with paying anything, but it does have a lot to do with creating equity, the kind of good will equity which comes with doing good deeds.
“We’re basically saying it’s OK to be kind to each other,” Johnna McBride, vice principal at the school told as assembly to launch the program recently. The program is one which simply asks students to extend random acts of kindness to fellow students, family and the community during Education Week, and to hope those touched by a helping hand in turn do something nice for others. “Go out and be kind to each other,” said McBride.
At a time when too many media reports are about bullying among youth, to the point some have committed suicide as a result of the abuse, it is good to see students here being asked to be supportive of one another and their community through good deeds.
It is something we should all undertake naturally as good citizens of our community, but it never hurts to reaffirm that through a program like the one at YRHS. It is the sort of thing many youth groups have long focused on. The Scout organization as an example instills in its young members the idea of doing a good deed a day. The 4-H movement has as its cornerstone the four ‘Hs’; Heart, Head, Hands and Health. The idea of putting your head, heart and hands to the good of the community. So the idea of doing good deeds for others is certainly not new. When we do good things for others, without an expectation of anything in return we hopefully start a ripple effect where the people we take the time to help in turn help others, and then they take the step to help still others.
As was pointed out at the student assembly the good deeds can be as simple as helping a neighbour rake leaves, or all too soon clean the snow from their driveway.
Seeing that is the great thing about doing good deeds, they need not be great extravagant gestures. They need only be something nice done for another without expectation of anything immediately in return.
It’s a simple premise and it is good that our local high school refocused attention on it. Hopefully students took up the challenge ‘to go out and be kind to each other” and that the experience created the ripple of good deeds which will extend beyond the school and beyond Education Week. The more caring we are in helping one another the stronger our community becomes.