"At the end of March, I was once again informed the governor had reversed the parole board’s suitability finding. I want to share with you that by applying the skills mindful kindness has given me, I was able to deal with this heartbreak in a healthy and, surprisingly, gentle way... I was able to stay focused on my immediate circumstances and maintain my focus and balance... I guess I’m trying to say, it does not define me." -- Leslie
"Some of the most commonly occurring behaviors across all kindness schools that we consider classroom managed behaviors were defiance, disrespect, and non-compliance. These are not uncommon behavior challenges in our schools, however, because of the emphasis on kindness, we were able to take a relationship, person-centered approach to these challenging behaviors. We were able to encourage students and staff to see each other not as people failing to "comply", but in need of some extra love and kindness to understand each other and have mutual care and understanding. All of the schools on the project initially saw a high number of the aforementioned classroom-managed behavior events, however, in their PBIS Kindness meetings they were able to analyze data and look through the lens of teaching & acknowledging kindness & kindness-related skills as a successful intervention that reduced occurrences of these behavior events." -- Steven
"There I was sitting in prison, faulting everybody else for my choices, but in all actuality, I was the problem. You know, and for many years, I thought that I was tough. I thought that these beliefs had given me a sense of identity... I didn't have the courage. I didn't have the strength to muster to disassociate myself from that lifestyle, because my self-esteem and work were always based on the opinion of how I thought other people perceive me ... Here I was this grown man still using coping mechanisms as a seven-year-old hurt when my father left me. There I was still holding on to it, but why? And at that moment, I started to change." -- Lou
"In 1987, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. But in 2018, I was commuted by former Governor Jerry Brown, and in 2019, I was granted parole on my initial board hearing. I was released September 10, 2020, after serving 23 years and six months of incarceration. My change came from within and from my cognitive perception of things. It had to all change. When this change takes place, it gets replaced with acts of kindness toward self first than others. It was imperative that the self help classes and courses I participated in while incarcerated. I took them to heart and apply them in my daily life. Not only while I was in the classroom, why is this important? Because the tools that are taught are for our betterment and if we want to succeed in society and become a productive member, it is vital one applies them. I joined the Choose Kindness Foundation, because it offers the essential tools towards a positive change, an increase in happiness, and a kinder way of living. Living this way, it shows us how to love others for who they are and this is How Love Wins." -- Abraham
"I want to say how much I see the kindness seeds starting to blossom! I have witnessed wonderful things, but the one that touched me so much today was this: My kindness crew has interviewed students and staff about staff members. Today one of the recipients said, in short, 'This letter meant so much! Knowing these words came from the KIDS was so touching. After 20 years in this profession...and now to have a letter of thanks? It meant so much!' Needless to say, we were both swelling with tears."
-- PBIS School Kindness Grant Recipient
"School staff have been under tremendous pressure due to various and ever-changing COVID protocols, prolonged illnesses, staffing shortages, etc. Many of our PBIS School Kindness schools recognized the toll it has taken on their staff this year and rose to the challenge by providing Teacher Wellness through Kindness activities and recognition events."
-- PBIS School Kindness Grant Recipient
"I am leaving my cell with a hearty meal, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, coffee, writing paper, and some sweets on my bunk. I am going to also place a bible and a copy of How Love Wins on my bunk. I am going to write a note inside of How Love Wins that says, 'I hope you enjoyed your meal. My wishes are that you have all you need to wash yourself. I do not know who you are, or what you have been through, but if you are in this cell, and you have opened this book, you may wonder or ask yourself how does love win? I’ve been in prison for 22 years. And one day I realized that I didn’t love anyone but myself. Since that day, I worked hard to change. Sought my education. Began to be kind to others. And was blessed by a beautiful family. Strangely enough, I began to be kind to myself. Only when I was able to love myself was I able to love others – and that is How Love Wins. If you are tired of being in the hole, and maybe you can’t sleep at night because you miss your family, take a chance and write me. I’ll serve you so that you can start that process and one day, you’ll also say – that’s How Love Wins.' " -- Ernesto
"Kindness being at the crux of our mission this year has broadened our ability to reach out and include the community to make this little slice of the world a better place to live. It has reminded us that the effort is worth the outcome, planting the seeds that sprout deep roots. This opportunity has assisted us in navigating away from the negative energy and reminded us to sit back, take a deep breath, and reach out to help others. Listening to the staff and students speak of kindness is warming and energizing!" -- Ariana