World Youth Skills Day

I believe KINDNESS is the #1 SKILL we can teach, nurture and celebrate in our youth in order to raise a generation who believes they have the power to create the change we all wish to see in the world. 

In celebration of World Youth Skills Day, today’s podcast episode is extra special because … I didn’t interview anyone! I was the one interviewed by 10-year-old “Kindness Detectives” at SPIRIT Cheer Camp and they asked me some GREAT QUESTIONS. Enjoy!


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Hi PARKer. I’m Marly Q and welcome to episode #16, celebrating World Youth Skills Day. In case you’re unfamiliar with this global holiday, like me and most people, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2014, declaring today, July 15th, as World Youth Skills Day to highlight the importance of teaching and developing a skilled youth. I believe that kindness is the number one skill that we can teach, nurture and celebrate in our youth in order to raise a generation who believes that they have the power to create the change we all wish to see in the world. Today’s episode is extra special because I’m not interviewing anyone. In fact, I’m the one that was interviewed by elementary school-aged kids.

That’s right, thanks to an act of random kindness I was invited to speak at Spirit Cheer Camp Virtual Club, a Miami based all-girl camp for ages 5 through 12 years old that focuses on teaching valuable life skills based on weekly themes that promote kindness and empowerment.

Last week’s theme empowered the girls to practice being ”Kindness Detectives”, the girls had top-secret

missions that they had to decode like making a card for someone, doing chores around the house without being asked and they even made special binoculars to help them spot kindness in their homes and community in hopes of teaching the skill of looking for the good in the world.

I want to thank Coach Frances Valladarez for giving me the opportunity to be the spark in their Girl Power Speaker series and spotlighting me as a professional kindness detective. Spirit Cheer Camp’s motto is “It’s not the glitz in the uniform but the spirit that shines within.” I couldn’t agree more. So, let’s sit back, relax and get ready to receive a spark of kindness from our youth today. Let’s listen.

[02:07] Coach Frances: There you go. Hi, Marly.

[02:09] Marly Q: Hi.

[02:11] Coach Frances: Hi, Marly. How are you doing?

[02:13] Marly Q: I am so excited and happy to be here. Nice to meet you. Hello ladies.

[02:20] Coach Frances: Wave girls. So, ladies, Marly Q is a philanthropist who believes that kindness is your superpower, right? We talked a little bit about it earlier, we saw part of her TED Talk. She inspires people of all ages to PARK. What did we say PARK was, right girls? It was Perform Acts of Random Kindness.

[02:45] Marly Q: Oh, I love it!

[02:47] Coach Frances: So, she is here to encourage us all to go ahead and to be the spark and to PARK. So, Marly Q, the floor is all yours for a little bit here.

[02:57] Marly Q: Oh, my goodness. Well, thank you so much, Francis, and beautiful ladies, I have you all on gallery view so that I can see you. What a beautiful thing to be grateful for, technology, that we can all be communicating. So, I am taking just a moment to look at each of your beautiful faces and give you each a smile and a hello. Oh, I love it! Because you are all, what I believe to be kindness superheroes. I am so grateful to have been invited today to join you through an act of random kindness. A friend just sent a text and said, “Hey, you would be really great to come and speak at the Spirit Cheer Camp for our Girl Power series.”. And I’m like, “What?”, “And they’re talking about kindness and they’re kindness detectives.”. And I’m like, “Well, these are my kind of people.”, what I call PARKers.

PARKers are people who Perform Acts of Random Kindness, and I truly believe that those are the superheroes that are out to change the world and make an impact. So, I’m honored to meet you all!

[03:54] Coach Frances: Awesome. Okay, so some of our girls have a couple of questions for you. Girls, we’re going to go ahead and get started with Sienna.

[04:00] Sienna: Hi.

[04:01] Marly Q: Hi Sienna.

[04:02] Sienna: So, I have a question. The question is, how old were you when you decided to make a difference by Performing Acts of Random Kindness?

[04:09] Marly Q: Well, how old are you Sienna?

[04:11] Sienna: I’m 10 years old.

[04:12] Marly Q: I was your age; I was 10 years old when I first discovered that I had this superpower within me to change the world. And at 10 years old, I had a beautiful teacher who told me and helped me discover that acts of kindness really make an impact and have the power to change the world. So, from the moment I was 10 years old and forward, throughout my entire life, I have been practicing being a PARKer and performing acts of kindness.

[04:43] Coach Frances: Awesome. Lily, do you have a question for Marly?

[04:47] Lily: Was the field trip story real?

[04:49] Marly Q: Absolutely! Yes, Lily. It’s very real and I remember it honestly, like it was yesterday and I have been telling that story for years and I had the opportunity two years ago to share it on stage at a TEDx event, which is kind of this worldwide platform to share ideas that are worth spreading, and I got to share it for the first time. The field trip story is absolutely true.

[05:16] Coach Frances: That was her question. I said, “Wait a second. That’s a great question for Marly. I’m sure it was, but let’s have her tell you.”. Okay. Next up, we have Alexa.

[05:24] Alexa: Hi!

[05:25] Marly Q: Hi Alexa.

[05:27] Alexa: I have a question. Is there anyone who didn’t want to participate in random acts of kindness and is there a way I could be a superhero too?

[05:35] Marly Q: That’s a great two-part question. I’m going to answer the second part first. Absolutely! I think you already are a kindness superhero, just by being part of this group, by making the time right now to be kind, to tap into your courage and ask me a question like that; I think that that already makes you a superhero. So, all you need to do to be a superhero for the rest of your life is actually practice, not just spying kindness, right? Looking for kindness in the world and others, but being the spark, being the one to perform that act of kindness. So, the answer to that second part of your question is absolutely, that’s what you can do to be a kind of superhero. And the first part of your question is also interesting, I love that. Have I ever had someone who didn’t want to perform acts of kindness? Was that the question?

[06:27] Alexa: Yeah.

[06:28] Marly Q: So, yes, absolutely. You will find in life, sometimes in school, out at the park, at the grocery store, in traffic, in work, when you get to that stage, you will find people that are maybe not willing to, not just perform acts of kindness, but they’re not willing to receive your kindness. So, what I’ve learned is to allow that to be okay. Not everybody has the practice that I have and that you all ladies are working on having, the habit of performing acts of kindness and sometimes for some people, if you don’t have that practice of being kind to others, being kind to yourself, sometimes that’s really difficult to receive kindness from other people. So, I’ve learned to not make that wrong, but rather to just accept it and continue being the spark, right? Because it’s about YOU being the superhero. And I have found that even when other people don’t want to accept my kindness, or are kind of like, “No, I don’t want your hug or I don’t want your high five or I don’t want your compliment.”, for example, if I just continue showing up with kindness and understanding and not making them wrong, sooner or later, they’ll become a PARKer too.

[07:38] Coach Frances: Love it. That’s a wonderful lesson, girls. We’re all unique, we’re all different and it’s nice to also acknowledge that somebody else may not be feeling that way that day, but it’s okay, you continue to be kind. So, next up we have Kate.

[07:52] Kate: My question is, do you like your job so much that you would stay in it forever?

[08:00] Marly Q: Forever and ever more, 1, 2, 3, 4. I would Kate, thank you for that question. I think that I am very blessed and fortunate and grateful to have found my “job”, if you will, when I was your age because I really do see it as a calling, I see it as a passion and something that I, I didn’t know it could be a job. You know, you don’t see that, you know, advertised, “Hey, apply here to be a kindness superhero.”, but I created that job for myself. As a speaker, I decided to become a speaker to share kind of stories, I have my own podcast, which I’d love to feature you ladies on, it’s called Time to be Kind with Marly Q, if you all are open to it, give me a thumbs up. I’m happy to feature you on my podcast. Yes, thumbs up! Because, I made it my job as a speaker, as a teacher and as somebody that creates events to bring people together. I made it my job and I intend to do it forever and ever and ever Kate. Thank you for asking.

[09:02] Coach Frances: Girls, you know how I talk to you about your inner spirit and that inner little light that shines within you that only shines within you because that’s your unique light? Well, that’s what she did, Marly went ahead and used that unique light to make something special for her life, for her job like Kate called it and also to make a difference in the world. So, next up, we have Lucy.

[09:21] Marly Q: Hi Lucy.

[09:22] Lucy: My question is, is it difficult to perform random acts of kindness, if every day the world gets a little harder to do a random act of kindness?

[09:32] Marly Q: Well, what a question! So, I think that that’s a very deep question, and are you also 10 years old Lucy?

[09:39] Lucy: Yes.

[09:41] Marly Q: Wow. So, I think that’s a deep question for a 10-year-old, and I appreciate you asking me that because it is very easy to believe that the world is a difficult and a hard place and that there’s darkness and, you know, it’s hard to be kind when sometimes, a lot that you see is the opposite of kindness, right? We see a lot of unkindness and a lot of violence and a lot of things that make us feel sad and like, “Hey, like, how can I be a superhero and perform acts of kindness when it doesn’t seem that everybody else is on board?”, right? And it doesn’t seem that it’s cool to be kind, and what I would say to that is, what are you focusing on?

Your life and your reality, and how you feel about yourself and your family and your friends and the world that you live in, is determined by what you focus on.

What you focus on is what you feel and you make your decisions based on what you think and what you believe, and how you feel about the world. So, even though it is true that there is a lot of unkindness in the world, it is equally true, if not more true, in my opinion, that there is a tsunami of kindness out there.

There’s kindness all the time if you’re looking for it, if you believe that kindness is stronger than unkindness, and if you commit to being someone that’s always going to look for the kindness and other people, that’s what I would say to that is, just be really careful about what you focus on. Because it is very easy to just focus on the bad or the problems, or how hard it can be, and it’s just as equally challenging to continue the practice and the habit, which is what you’re doing right now, of creating this practice of always looking for the helpers, looking for the kind people, being that spark of kindness because the world is always going to need it.

We’re never going to live in a world where everybody is always hugging and high fiving and loving on each other all the time, there’s always going to be that “dark side”, or that challenging part of life, it’s always there. And at the same exact time, you have the power to be the spark of kindness and bring that light to the world. So, is it hard? Sometimes, but you can do it.

[12:06] Coach Frances: I love that you used the word light, that’s exactly what I was going to say, girls, focus on the light, all of your attention, all of your energy needs to go into that light. There’s going to be that darkness, of course, but focus, because if you look for it, there’s always kind people, there’s always nice things happening, there’s always good in it, and that’s what we need to focus on. Marly Q, we’re so happy that you were able to join us and take some time off. So, if you could go ahead and have a couple of words for the girls, I’m going to go ahead and record you to put it on Instagram. So, you will– your legacy will stay with Spirit Cheer.

[12:37] Marly Q: Great. I love that. You know, making this time to be kind with each of you ladies is to me, the spark of my day. What a beautiful way to start this day, just believing in kindness and being able to witness you young ladies and kindness superheroes in the making. As you are undertaking your kindness challenge and being spies for kindness, that brings me a lot of hope, because I think that’s what we need to be, people that are actively looking, detectives, looking for kindness in everyday life, the more we look for it, the more we see it, and the more we see it, the more we believe in it; and the more that we can act from that place, and really be the spark of kindness that we wish to see in the world.

I’m so grateful to have been invited to be part of your Girl Power series, I really hope to stay connected with you all, you can totally reach out to me and please listen to the podcast, leave a review, comment on any posts that you see me put out because, like you all said, this is my job! My job is to celebrate kindness and bring that light into the world and I’d love to do that to each and every single one of you. Thank you.

[13:47] Coach Frances: Beautiful. Girls, so, I want you all to unmute yourselves now please, and let’s go ahead and give her a big round of applause, thank Marly for being here.

[13:58] Outro: I absolutely loved making time to be kind with all the girls at Spirit Cheer Camp and I hope you enjoyed this special interview as much as I did. I told you today’s episode was extra special because we’re celebrating World Youth Skills Day and I’m also celebrating two other big things while we’re on the topic of teaching valuable life skills.

First, my family and I are celebrating our son’s birthday, Jude Parker turns two years old today. And yes, we named him PARKer because if it’s one skill that we’re teaching him is how to be someone who Performs Acts of Random Kindness for himself, others and the world.

We’re also celebrating the official launch of my new online course called the B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™. It goes without saying that COVID-19 has caused a lot of stress for our youth and adults alike worldwide. And so, I’ve made a lot of time to be kind during quarantine in order to create a simple and practical online course that you can complete in under an hour.

I created the B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™. in order to teach you my proven four step method for feeling your best and living with less stress, even if you think you’re too busy with no extra time, money or energy to complete another online course.

This course is for you whether you’re young, in age or young at heart, brand new to self-care, or if you have an established practice. The fact is that we’re all experiencing stress and I know that I can help you stress less.

I have a special discount code for members of my Kind Qrew. So, if you haven’t joined yet, now is the time. It’s free and quick to join. So, for direct links to join my Kind Qrew, and to gain access to the B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™, plus this episode’s show notes and transcription, visit MarlyQ.com/16. That’s Marlyq.com/16 for this episode number.

[15:47] Thank you for listening. If you’re inspired to make a little more time to be kind, please subscribe, leave a kind review and share with a friend who would appreciate this podcast too. Thank you for being the spark of kindness. See you next time! [15:59]

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