It all started in an old Chevy Malibu while running errands one day. I was eavesdropping on a conversation between my two children, Jack (age 7) and Lucy (age 5). They were discussing the truth about magic. The exchange in the back seat of that old junker changed my view on magic and kindness forever.
Lucy: You know magic is not real. (said in a tone of sadness)
Jack: Yes it is Lucy!
Kindness is magic.
The earth is magic.
The way the planets turn is magic.
How we survive is magic.
You are magic Lucy.
Lucy: So am I wrong? Because I thought there was no magic.
Jack: No, how you are in our family is kindness Lucy, and that is magic. When you just shared with Lyra, that is it. I believe in you Lucy. Everyone is magic, if they spread kindness, joy and love, everyone can be magic.
Lucy: I guess you are right. (In a hopeful voice)
Jack: Magic doesn't come from the world, it comes from people, and their kindness, that's where magic comes from.
Lucy then passed Lyra a small toy when she cried.
Jack: That's it! There you go spreadin' it, spreading magic.
I realized that kids are experts in finding a way to believe and wise to a truth we know nothing about. I wondered what would happen if we let all that kindness magic out into the world? How far could it go? What would happen if we let kids show us the way? How would it change our city and communities? How would it change us?
Years later I found some old magic wands I had left over from a project long ago and a simple idea was sparked. We gathered some friends and left 100 magic wands in public spaces around the city of Richmond, Virginia. We hid them in libraries, parks, playgrounds, toy stores, anywhere a child might find them.
Each wand invited kids to discover their magic by doing three acts of kindness and then they were asked to hide the wand for the next child to find. Within just a week, the magic wands popped up in Washington, Texas, Massachusetts, Kentucky and North Carolina. The pictures and stories started flowing in with tales of kids making lunches for the homeless, having magic wand making parties and schools adopting the kindness project.
Less than a month later, we estimate over 1,000 magic wands have been distributed all over the United States and the project is now traveling to other parts of the world.
When the horrific video of Karen Klein (from Greece, New York) being verbally abused by kids hit the internet last week, we knew just what other kids could do to counter such an act. It would require believing in good and a bit of kindness magic.
So the kids of our city got together at the Children's Museum of Richmond to make 100 magic wands for the kids of Greece to hide, because you just never know where kindness magic will be discovered next.
According to Jack, everyone can be magic. Everyone.
Follow Patience Salgado on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kindnessgirl