We are nearly a month into this pandemic called Coronavirus or COVID-19, and our lives have changed significantly. There are people who have to be on the frontline, who cannot stay at home, who have families, and may be dealing with fear, worry, and stress. In these times -- in these moments -- we have great opportunities to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to share random acts of kindness to strangers and to those facing uncertainty. These are the moments that count. Find at least one way you can spread kindness to others and consistently practice as often as you are led.
5 Ways You Can Practice Kindness
1) Communicate. I know this one sounds simple -- and it is. We have so many different ways we can reach out to others: make a telephone call, mail a postcard or letter, email, text, chat, and who doesn't love the Video Calling (Facetime, Facebook Messenger Video Call) option. Personally, I'm promoting the Video Call. It just seems to make that connection that much better, particularly right now when you cannot leave home. Just this past Saturday, my husband and I tried to make several video calls to loved ones and friends. We reached our parents, and though it is a newer technology, it seems to make it more real when you can see how the other person is, what they look like, and what their facial expressions are. It's like having a real conversation -- face-to-face -- without worrying if COVID-19 or flu germs are being exchanged. Decide today who you will communicate with and how often. Just seeing your smile may be all the recipient needs to make their day a little brighter.
2) Grocery Shopping. When that time comes around, reach out to a few neighbors and inquire if they are in need of an item(s). They may not need anything at the moment, but will appreciate your inquiring! Our most recent inquiry, we reached out to two neighbors -- one didn't have a need, but the other needed dishwasher detergent and toilet paper. Before we even reached the store to shop, the one neighbor with the need contacted us and shared another friend had found those items. It's really about networking the need.
3) Thanking Heroes. Even in the midst of the crisis, think about the people who are mandated to work - healthcare workers, transportation workers, the grocery stores, firefighters, police officers, restaurants, truckers, bankers, postal workers, and many others. They cannot stay home. They are right in the middle of it all, and yet they continue to keep on serving. I am reading Kevin Brown's book "The Hero Effect" in my spare time. It's an amazing book that reminds us that heroes are ordinary people choosing to do extraordinary things. What can you do to thank your local heroes? Consider these examples and how you could expand: Share a message on poster board thanking a trucker -- post in your yard, or stand in your yard and hold up the sign as a trucker passes by. Reach out to them on social media and send them a kind message of appreciation. Make a donation to a local food bank.
4) Scavenger Hunts. Okay, this one is really one of those fun things for both adults and kids. You can create your own indoor and outdoor version, or you can visit Google and type in "scavenger hunts" and several great free printable options will appear. This seems kind of an odd choice to practice random acts of kindness through a scavenger hunt, but this might be just what your child(ren) need to reconnect! These are also a fun activity to mail or forward to a family member who may be celebrating a birthday during the crisis.
5) Pay It Forward. With so many restaurants offering delivery and curb-side/take-out options, this could be a great opportunity to pay it forward -- by ordering food for yourself (supporting the restaurant) or by paying for the person(s) behind you. This "pay it forward" can be applied to helping pay for groceries, putting a quarter in the grocery cart, gifting food to the homeless, giving away bars of soap, etc. Basically, if you feel that little nudge to help, do it.
No One Is Immune
We are all in this together -- fighting an enemy we cannot see, and just trying to do the best we can to make it through.
Just a reminder of how things have changed so fast (and who would have thought it could ever happen), I found a post going around on Facebook last week that really struck me on just HOW significantly different our lives are now. Take a moment to read each line and reflect on how that differed from your own life just a few weeks prior!
Facebook Post Reminder
Just so I NEVER forget..... April 2, 2020
Gas price was $1.21 (Costco) $1.16 (March 30)
School cancelled - yes cancelled
Self-distancing measures on the rise.
Tape on the floors at grocery stores and others to help distance shoppers (6ft) from each other.
Limited number of people inside stores, therefore, lineups outside the store doors.
Non-essential stores and businesses mandated closed.
Parks, trails, entire cities locked up.
Entire sports seasons cancelled.
Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events - cancelled.
Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings - cancelled.
No masses, churches are closed.
No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, now 10 or less.
Don't socialize with anyone outside of your home.
Children's outdoor play parks are closed.
We are to distance from each other.
Shortage of masks, gowns, gloves for our front-line workers.
Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.
Panic buying sets in and we have no toilet paper, no disinfecting supplies, no paper towel no laundry soap, no hand sanitizer.
Shelves are bare.
Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE.
Government closes the border to all non-essential travel.
Fines are established for breaking the rules.
Stadiums and recreation facilities open up for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.
Press conferences daily from the President. Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths.
Government incentives to stay home.
Barely anyone on the roads.
People wearing masks and gloves outside.
Essential service workers are terrified to go to work.
Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families.
This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, declared March 11th, 2020.
Why, you ask, do I write this status?
One day it will show up in my memory feed, and it will be a yearly reminder that life is precious and not to take the things we dearly love for granted.
We have so much!
Be thankful. Be grateful.
Be kind to each other - love one another - support everyone.
We are all one! ❤️
Be Kind To Each Other
Wow, right? This is our reality. Take a moment and select one or multiple of the 5 ways you can help. This is our opportunity. By practicing daily, these ways can make a positive difference in our neighborhood, our community, our nation, and even our world.