Motivational slogans and catch phrases surround us from social media posts to house and office decor to signs found decorating the city of Westminster.
We hear them all the time. “Pay it forward.” “We rise by lifting others.” “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”
It is easy to share or post a positive slogan. It is much harder to live by them.
Random Acts of Kindness Day in the United States is celebrated annually on Feb. 17. It is considered a day to celebrate decency, kindness, and paying things forward to others in the world around us, according to Nationaldaycalendar.com.
The popularity of this concept and belief has grown with participants including individuals, groups, and organizations who encourage acts of kindness. These actions are not only positive to the recipient, but to the giver as well.
The ideal of acts of kindness influences a variety of organizations locally nationally, and globally to promote and support this belief. It takes little for one to see in our own community the abundance that surrounds us.
Acts of kindness can include some of the simplest ideals from treating people the way one would want to be treated in a situation, listening, and understanding and looking out for others in one’s own community.
Kindness is a rather simple concept; placing someone’s concerns or needs above your own. It can be letting someone go ahead in line, buying extra food and donating it to a food pantry, holding a door for someone, buying someone’s coffee randomly, taking a gift to new neighbors, helping someone change a flat tire, checking on a neighbor, or letting a car into the traffic ahead of you.
As a community, we need to look out for those around us. People are experiencing exacerbated moments these days.
We are encountering magnified emotions and stressors from life and the world around us ranging from the concerns of the pandemic to politics or economic need.
Perhaps Mark Twain said it best.
“A little more kindness, A little less speed, A little more giving, A little less greed, A little more smile, A little less frown, A little less kicking, A man while he’s down, A little more “We”, a little less “I”, A little more laugh, A little less cry, A little more flowers, On the pathway of life, And fewer on graves, At the end of the strife.”
Tom Gordon writes from Westminster. His column appears every other Saturday. Email him at email@example.com