PLAINVIEW, Long Island (WABC) -- One man's mission to spread kindness made its way to a school on Long Island this week.
And the kids at the Kramer Lane Elementary School in Plainview got a very different kind of lesson -- to pay it forward.
"You know who makes the world a better place?" Rich Specht, of the ReesSpecht Life Foundation, asked the students. "You do."
Specht is a kindness rockstar, a former science teacher who goes on tour in his purple T-shirt hoping to change the world one child at a time.
"I think kindness can fix, actually, the whole world," he said. "Our words matter. Our actions matter. And actions have reactions, both good or bad. And, you know, we can plant those seeds of kindness or we can do the opposite."
His kindness crusade began in 2012, after the death of his 22 month-old son, Rees in a drowning accident in his backyard.
Shocked out of his grief by the kindness of friends and total strangers, he started the ReesSpecht Life Foundation with a children's book, a cartoon video, and lectures on respect and water safety programs -- while encouraging random acts of kindness that have reached around the world.
Rich doesn't single-out President Donald Trump, but kids ask him about it.
"You know, 'Why should I be kind if, you know, the president isn't?' I literally get that statement," he said. "Demeaning people and bullying is wrong, and we shouldn't accept it from our leaders. We shouldn't accept it from our parents. We shouldn't accept it from our children. We shouldn't accept it from anyone."
For Specht, kindness is more than a word. It's a way of life.
"So go out there and spread those seeds of kindness," he said. "Because when you do, you're going to respect yourselves, you're gonna respect each other, and most importantly, you will respect life."
CLICK HERE for more on the ReesSpecht Life Foundation.
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Be Kind: One man's mission to spread kindness around the world
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