Reflecting on Kindness: Recognizing and Celebrating Individual Growth

By _Amaya_Collins_ February 26, 2019

In this exclusive “Reflecting on Kindness” series, Ponysitters Club members reflect back on moments from episodes that allowed them to express different forms of kindness.

In this week’s journal entry, Olivia demonstrates kindness through the themes of confidence, trying new things, empathy, and connection with animals. She shares how these themes allowed her to express kindness by recognizing and celebrating individual growth and the kindness of those who help us get there.

Sometimes it’s easier to focus on our weaknesses than our strengths. When Lizzie Sweet and her reptile zoo come to visit in “Special Connections” (S01E03), Lizzie goes out of her way to make Olivia feel comfortable trying something that scares her, never letting her feel small or less-than for not being as confident around animals. Olivia reflects on other moments when she’s played the role of helping Skye with something that scares her.

Dear diary,

Today was a big day at Rescue Ranch! I faced some fears, tried new things I never thought I’d try, and I surprised myself with how much I could do. Whoever thought I’d hold a snake, let alone enjoy it???

So, story time. A traveling reptile zoo broke down right outside the Ranch, and the zookeepers brought out all of their animals and let us all play with them while Grandpa helped fix their van. I was really nervous at first — I love all kinds of furry critters, but I do NOT like creepy crawly reptiles. How can you cuddle something with scales and cold blood? When one of the zookeepers, Lizzie Sweet, took out a snake and handed it to Ethan and Trish, I just about ran out of the barn!

Lizzie was soooo nice though. She let me watch the snakes from further away at first — I think she could tell I was nervous, so it helped to just watch until I was more comfortable. After seeing Ethan and Trish having so much fun playing with the snake, I started thinking they might not be as bad as I thought they were and started wanting to try holding them myself. Lizzie helped me hold one and taught us some neat snake facts — I never knew how hard it was to tell girl and boy snakes apart! It ended up being so much less scary than I thought it would be, and I even touched some other reptiles and lizards later in the day!

I guess it goes to show how great it can be when you try things that make you feel nervous or scared. It’s just like the other day when Skye was having a hard time with her reading homework — I know reading out loud gives her anxiety, but I also know she’s soooo smart and loves storytelling, and she’s so good at it too! Sometimes she just needs a friend to help her out with things that are scary for her, and I guess maybe I do too sometimes! We all want to be big, brave doers, but we all also have difficulties that get in the way, and we can’t do it all by ourselves. I guess that’s what friends are for!! I’m so happy that I have the best friends ever! I love my Ponysitter pals!!

Did you know that kids can become a real member of the Ponysitters Club? Learn how to join and be sure to inspire your kids to be doers by downloading the 4‑H Inspire Kids to Do Activity Guide!