Except for essential errands, most of us are staying in, hunkering down, and making the best use of time waiting for this storm to pass.
While the focus is on COVID-19, I’ve noticed another pandemic running rampant - kindness.
Worldwide, first responders and medical personnel are displaying an abundant amount of kindness by taking care of the most vulnerable. Crafters and owners of 3-D printers are making masks and donating to those in need. Neighbors never having met face-to-face are having Zuma lessons on the front lawn. There are early morning yoga and meditation sessions on Zoom and late-night jam sessions on balconies. Caravans of teachers are doing drive-bys to wish students Happy Birthday. Painted rocks and chalkboard pavement messages of hope are showing up more and more along walking paths.
In the book, “Who Owns the Future,” author Tony Kearney writes, “The only way to have kindness is to give it away. The only way to have enough is to share. There is no college course or diploma in genuiness. There is no secret mine in Siberia where humility is quarried. There is no shortage of humanity, just a shortage of volunteers to process it.”
I may be working 14-16 hour days, but this spoke to my soul. I need to volunteer to process kindness. So I did, locally.
-Last weekend, I was in a Laundromat. Five of us were waiting for our spin cycles to end. I was thirsty, and when I got to the door, I shared I was going to grab a bottle of water, and could I get anything for anyone, “on me.” The silent faces looked up as if they’d just seen a baby born. While there were no requests for pop, chips, or candy, there were many “Thank you’s”.
At MOD Pizza, I initiated a “pay it forward” by buying the order for the car behind me. Forcing someone to be the messenger of good news is fascinating to watch. It was a double Whoot when the tip was generous enough to be shared.
I learned that Alexandra, The Art of Yarn, sent an enormous box of hand-dyed, handspun yarn, and snacks to a friend. Though Alexandra’s business model no longer exists, her friend is in a much more dire situation. She’s ill, alone, living in a remote area, was forced to close her small business, and is out of cash. Forget streaming video, it’s streaming tears and kindness.
Orders we received this week from Meredith, Joy, Robert, Anja, and Tennison included heartfelt messages: “I love you, Mom”, “I’ll bet you could really use this right now.” “Thanks for keeping us safe”.
Just as I was ready to write a closing to this post of kindness, I received this email. Synchronistic? Absolutely and I'm now called to volunteer to process kindness in a much different fashion and asking you to partner with us in this endeavor:
My name is A. McG. And I am a nurse working on a COVID Unit at a hospital in Minnesota. Many nurses, including myself, are having issues with sore, itchy, burning, irritated rashed hands from cheap hand sanitizer and soap the hospital is supplying for us.
As you may be aware, when working in a hospital alone and then add working with positive COVID patients, we wash and sanitize our hands often.
Someone online raved about your hand cream and stated that it is all she uses as a healthcare professional.
My question is, would you be willing to donate a small batch that I could use and share with my other nursing friends who are just as I am with uncomfortable, burning, itching, red ad swollen hands.
Anything you could donate would be GREATLY appreciated. We have tried NUMEROUS other creams and soap to no avail.
My contact is:
A. McG., BSN, RN, PHN, CMSRN
326 Gironde Ct
Woodbury MN 55125”
If you are called to this opportunity to volunteer to process kindness please take advantage of our Pay It Forward program (a program we’ve had for years) and direct your Pay It Forward to the RN above. If you spend $60.00 we'll send two To-Go Bars instead of one Body Bar. To-Go sizes fit so much better in pockets and aprons.
As much as we’d like to take this on ourselves, as a small business, in this economy, we have to spread the cost to share this kindness. It takes a village, and kindness is better when it’s shared.
If kindness isn’t a miracle drug, I don’t know what is. I only know that while the Kindness Pandemic is long overdue, the time is ripe and it's spreading.
PS. I purchased the photo for this blog post from Pexels, a web-based stock photo company. After I purchased, I received this note:
Hi Lo Lo. Thank you so much for the donation! This investment will be very helpful. All the money I’m getting from donations at Pexels, I’m going over to a hospital here in the city to help treat people with COVID-19. Thank you very much.