One of the toughest things I’ve had to do is teach my boys that the world isn’t perfect. There’s something magical about that youthful naiveté…
When I was approached about undertaking our #KINDMilesMatter journey, it took me all of 3 seconds to say, “YES!” I mean, what’s more awesome than getting to get some exercise in beautiful Florida AND get some KIND bars donated to charity?
So, two weeks ago, we strapped on our walking shoes and started out on our first walk.
We tromped around the neighborhood and the boys were busy trying to name every lizard that ran across our path. I think “Rainbow Lizard Rock Guy” was the best name of all the ones they came up with.
The next day, my oldest son and I had a very serious discussion. He’s at the cusp of turning 6 and there are just some topics that are very important. You know, like birds…and bird poops.
Over the next few days, we traded off between walking and biking. Make no bones about it, it was hot. Florida is hot and humid and not entirely fun to trek through at times. Luckily, we got a swag bag from KIND that had some stuff to help us out. The sunscreen, the bars, and the water bottles kept us protected, hydrated and fed as we explored every nook and cranny of our neighborhood.
(Not pictured, the KIND bar that my son inhaled before I could get a shot.)
…we could could give them some of MY snacks!
Things were going great. Then, my son asked me why we kept going out for walks and rides. I told him that we were walking and biking so that we could get some boxes of KIND bars donated to Family Promise. We’ve been volunteering with Family Promise for over a year now, and he understands the concept of homelessness now. He had a really hard time wrapping his head around the fact that some people in the world don’t have a home…or are hungry. The part he has a really hard time with is that there are children who are hungry.
The first time we talked about it, his answer was simple. “Why don’t their mom and dad just pack them a snack?” When I told him that it wasn’t quite that simple, because sometimes mom and dad don’t have any food to pack a snack. He got a very serious look on his face. “Then, we could give them some of MY snacks!”
My son, the giver. After explaining that we were doing miles to help get bars for homeless families, he became adamant about going out every evening after dinner. His battle cry has become, “Let’s HIT that road, daddy!” I know when he says that, he’s got some serious biking he wants to do. He really is my little wingman.
The RunKeeper app we use to track our miles periodically announces how long you’ve been at it and how many miles you’ve traveled. And while I’m not a hundred percent certain he knows exactly what the numbers mean when she’s talking, every time we finished a walk or ride he would look at me and ask if we finished our miles or if we needed to go one more.
On one night in particular, we got caught off-guard by a random Florida rainstorm. We were a mile in when it started coming down. When we offered to go back home, the kids said, “No. Let’s finish.” We logged 2 miles that night. Everyone came home soaked. The boys never really complained about anything other than the thunder. On a night when I was perfectly fine with packing it in and going home, my boys were teaching their old man about conviction and perseverance.
I truly believe that on most nights he would have gone further if I let him. But, he’s 5 going on 6 and his little body has limits that he doesn’t quite understand yet. So, as the grown-up, there were nights that we didn’t travel as far as other nights, and I just nodded at his sweaty little face and said, “Yep. We did. We HIT that road!”
The beauty of all of this is while my kids are teaching me about the benefits of ‘sticking with it’, I’m also teaching them a valuable lesson. It’s one that I’ve slowly been learning over the last year or so. Yes, the world can be a rough place. But, there’s also hope. We are the hope. We can fix things. Can we fix everything? Nope. But we can fix small things. And if everyone fixed small things, some of the bigger things might not be so big anymore.
In the bag o’ goodies we received, was a book: “Do the KIND Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately“. It’s written by the CEO and founder of KIND Snacks Daniel Lubetzky. I sat down to start reading it, and within a chapter, I was hooked. What I didn’t realize was the altruistic nature behind KIND. In its pages, I was reading about a guy who started a company with the idea that he wasn’t going to fix all of the world’s woes. But that he could fix small parts of it. And when those small fixes begin propagating, then bigger fixes become possible. Sound familiar?
Here’s a little bit about KIND and some of their products:
Since its founding in 2004, KIND has been on a mission to make the world a little kinder one snack and act at a time.
All award-winning KIND snacks are made from delicious, wholesome ingredients and are gluten free and non GMO. KIND currently offers six different snack lines including: KIND® Fruit & Nut and KIND® PLUS, two lines of delicious whole nut & fruit bars; KIND® Nuts & Spices, a line of whole nut & spice bars that naturally have only 5g of sugar or less; KIND Healthy Grains® Clusters made from five super grains; KIND Healthy Grains® Bars, a line of crunchy and chewy granola bars; and STRONG & KIND®, a line of savory-flavored bars featuring 10g of protein.
KIND Healthy Grains Bars have a foundation of five super grains baked into a perfectly chewy with a crunchy texture
- Reimagining a lunchbox staple, KIND Healthy Grains Peanut Butter Berry bars are made with a unique blend of five super grains, coated in peanut butter and combined with sweet raspberries and cranberries. Each bar is a good source of fiber, making this new and improved PB&J rendition a nutritious and tasty lunchbox snack.
STRONG & KIND is our first-ever savory snack line featuring 10 grams of soy-and-whey free protein made from ingredients you can see & pronounce® (Available in five flavors) WHICH WE ARE CURRENTLY TASTE TESTING ON THE SITE!
- Point of Difference: Bold flavors; 10g of Protein, ingredients you can see & pronounce®.
Key Benefit: Because not all protein is created equal, we use whole almonds, seeds and pea protein to give you 10g of natural protein and all nine essential amino acids.
Also, just as a side note: These bars are goood. So much so, that we’ve started doing taste tests on the website!
Oh, and a side benefit of all of this walking and biking? I’ve lost 5 pounds and we get to get away from ‘screen time’ at night. Also, we get to have some fun when something unexpected happens!
I’ll be sad that our miles won’t be adding up to free bars for charity any more, but it has shown us the importance of taking time to get some exercise, eating healthier, and going out to find ways to help people in need. It really IS the KIND thing to do!