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Susquehanna Life

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 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

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 Thank you, in advance, for being kind.   

Erica L. Shames

Visit for a casual exploration of what kindness actually is, courtesy of

Web Extras

What is kindness Kindness is Power

What is kindness? Kindness is Power...

A casual exploration of what kindness actually is, and how you can easily use it to improve your life and the lives of others. Read More »  

Silver Spray Falls Hike

Silver Spray Falls Hike

Silver Spray Falls is a fun waterfall in the Delaware Water Gap. You can access the falls from the same road as the more accessible Buttermilk Falls. In winter, the falls take on an other... Read More » 

Creamery giant Sheffield Dairy of New York had a creamery in the tiny town of Lewisburg Pa

History of the Sheffield Farms Creamery Building, Route 15, Lewisburg, Pa.

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 » 


Articles from our Winter 2020 Issue:

Mission Statement: Founded in 1993, Susquehanna Life magazine is the original lifestyle publication for Central PA, highlighting the region’s most captivating stories and undiscovered gems in a national-caliber publication. And the Susquehanna Life brand is an effective, cost-efficient multi-media platform on which businesses and organizations like yours, that produce a high-quality product or service, can partner with a brand with these same principles and attributes to meet and exceed sales goals.

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