By Skyler Sallick in the KidSpirit Simplicity and Complexity issue.
From a young age, I have worked to piece together my unique spiritual beliefs from aspects of my surrounding environment, particularly from my various educational experiences.
I entered my first Montessori classroom at fourteen months old, each chubby roll of my curious body enticed and fascinated with the classroom. Montessori, a non-traditional form of education, centers around enhancing the fundamentals of child development through lessons that focus primarily on the intersection of kindness and compassion with community engagement. When I had not yet graduated from the quintessential Montessori lesson of the “pink tower” (a set of cubes that need to be stacked in size order) and learning the alphabet through tracing sandpaper letters, I thought of respect of others as a simple facet of daily life, something that was part of every decision I made and every interaction I had. Gradually, the curtains closed on my belief that kindness and compassion are uncomplicated; social behavior is more complex than innate qualities and emotions. No longer believing them to be the simple foundations for life as a living being, I walked down the seemingly endless, window-lined hallway of my Montessori school and grew conscious of the intricacies of kindness and compassion in our ever expanding and interconnected world.