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The Importance of Inspiring Kindness

December 6, 2018 5:37 PM

At Rescue Ranch, Skye and the rest of the Ponysitters Club are able to spend their days playing with cute animals, being active on the beautiful farm, and hanging out with each other. But their days spent on the ranch aren’t just about having fun. The Ponysitters Club was founded on the values of caring, kindness, empathy and helping. Skye needs help balancing her responsibilities at school with her desire to spend time caring for the animals on the ranch, so Olivia, Trish and Ethan all commit to help their friend in both areas.  Skye inspires kindness in the Ponysitters by leading by example. Her desire to better herself as well as improve all the lives around her—human and animal alike—inspire the Ponysitters to help her achieve her goals. Inspiring kindness by practicing kindness is the best place to start—kindness is contagious.

These values are not only at the forefront of all the fun the club has, but inspiring kindness in others is how the children are able to grow and support the ranch. Throughout both seasons of Ponysitters Club, the primary focus for Skye, Olivia, Trish, Ethan, Isabella, Shelby, Kyle, Billy, Grandpa, Bianca, and the many other familiar faces on Rescue Ranch is caring for animals in need. A side effect of this goal is that everyone is motivated to put the well being of others, not just the animals, above their own. As a club, the kids begin by working together to help the various animals in need on the ranch, but along the way, learn that kindness towards each other is just as important. Just as each of the animals coming onto Rescue Ranch has their own specific care needs, so do each of the members in the club. And just as the ranch provides a nurturing, helpful and kind environment where the animals are able to become the best versions of themselves, it does the same for the children. Kindness allows everyone to become the best versions of themselves.

While kindness plays a crucial role in the daily goings-on of the ranch, Ponysitters Club approaches the importance of kindness as not simply an act, but as an inspiration. In Season One, Episode Six “Teamwork Trouble,” Skye deals with the pressures of being a leader when conflict arises within the club. Instead of just being kind to everyone, Skye takes the resolution one step further by encouraging everyone in the club to be kind to each other. Because of this, Olivia and Trish are able to solve their differences and the girls are able to help Ethan relocate his soccer practice to the ranch so he can have time to play and be a helpful member of the Ponysitters Club.

Inspiring kindness takes the act of kindness one step further by reminding people that kindness begets kindness. Approaching everyone with compassion and understanding helps build communities based on respect and trust that all members have each other’s best interests at heart. Ethan is able to become the best version of himself by participating in both soccer and the Ponysitters Club because of the kindness shown by his friends. His ability to stay in both activities allows him to maintain his commitment to helping the animals and the club on the ranch. Kindness inspires kindness.

Unlike many other contemporary live-action children’s shows, Ponysitters Club emphasizes the values of empathy, community building, and above all kindness. When Skye leads by example, working hard to be kind to the animals of Rescue Ranch, she inspires the other Ponysitters to lead kind, compassionate lives as well. In this way, Skye and the Ponysitters also act as role models for the show’s young audience. By following the good example the Ponysitters set by being kind to all (while still having a lot of fun along the way), children are inspired to be kind to the people and animals of their own Rescue Ranches. They learn that kindness isn’t only contagious—it’s also fun.

About the Author

Jennifer Sirangelo

President & CEO - National 4‑H Council

Jennifer is a believer in young people and their capacity to change the world. As President and CEO, she leads National 4‑H Council in its mission to increase investment and participation in high-quality 4‑H positive youth development programs for millions of young people around the world.