We’re finally in the swing of the new school year and as wild as the schedules are, families are starting to get in the groove.

The kids are talking about what they are learning and, of course, parents are happy when their children do well on tests, projects and report cards.
But I saw an anonymous meme on Facebook last week that made me stop and think.  It said, “We need to care less about whether our children are academically gifted and more about whether they sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria.”
Such a powerful statement.  
Whether it’s the new kid at elementary school, someone with special needs, or those first few weeks in high school when the Grade 9 students are trying to find their way.  It takes a strong, confident, empathetic person to walk over and sit with someone who is on their own.  Someone they might not know.  But don’t we all want our kids to be that person who would make a difference?
How often do we talk about accepting others with our kids?  As often as we discuss math or science?
We all want our kids to learn and grow at school.  We hope they’ll be successful members of society one day.  But we have to remember that sometimes the skills that don’t get mentioned on a resume are the ones that will make them stand out.  That will make them a leader.

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “A leader is a dealer in hope.”  And there is nothing more valuable than giving hope to someone who may have lost it.  You can’t put a price on being brave and kind.

As Anne Frank once said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”  One new friend at a time.