In The Winter - 2020 Issue
Am I wrong to want to inhabit a kinder, gentler world?
We have an opportunity, and an obligation—to our children and grandchildren—to treat each other with respect, dignity and kindness. Or we will continue to spiral downward, out of control, as a nation, and as a species. We’ve already slid too far.
I don’t care about your politics or religion. I don’t want to know your sexual preference. It’s not important to me to steer you in a certain direction or force you to believe a certain set of facts. And I don’t care about your skin color. All I want to do is influence you to be kind. We are not all the same, but we are all equal. We are all human beings who want the same thing: to love and be loved. How difficult is that?
Last February, the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, following models created by various kindness campaigns around the country and the world, recruited area schools, businesses and organizations to join them in celebrating Kindness Week February 10-14th. Each day we were encouraged to do something nice, from complimenting someone and cleaning up a mess that wasn’t ours, to saying hello to someone new and posting a positive message on social media.
It was nice while it lasted, but we must do more.
I contend that it’s imperative we adopt these actions as a way of life. I encourage you to adopt random acts of kindness as a universal way of being. Set a good example for others by modeling kind behavior always. Witness the way your kindness positively impacts others. And how it makes you feel.
It’s easy to be nice to friends and family. The challenge is to open your heart to a stranger. Someone who is different from you, either because of skin color, lifestyle choices or religious or political views. Say good morning to someone you don’t know. Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop. Smile at a stranger you pass on the sidewalk. Say only good things about others. Do away with road rage. Many more examples of how to spread kindness in your community are at RandomActsofKindness.org. And in the months ahead, we will promote these ideas to help keep this idea front and center in all of our minds.
In this issue, we tried to set an appropriate tone. Millie Baker Ragosta’s article, “The Traveler,” brought tears to my eyes as I read it, and it was important to me to share its message with you. Susan Ryder’s chronicle of Karen Hendricks’ “50 Races for 50 Causes” emulates the pay it forward idea, and the good we can do by simply being aware of the needs of others, and to put those needs maybe not before our own, but certainly in line with our own. Our Winter Illumination column spotlights the virtue of kindness. And throughout this issue you’ll see red icons directing you to more kindness resources online at SusquehannaLife.com.
Random Acts of Kindness day is Feb. 17, 2021. Let’s prepare for it by incorporating kind deeds into our lives right now. If you need some ideas, visit RandomActsofKindness.org. Thank you, in advance, for being kind.
Erica L. Shames
This stout two-story brick building still proudly boasts its past history as the home of a Sheffield Farms creamery, in the form of fading words on the side of the building which reads: "... Read More »