Image by reneebigelow from Pixabay
I have no words. I am a writer–and I have no words.
There has been so much going on in our country the last few months that I feel like I’m tumbling around in a wave, unable to figure out which way is up.
I want my children to grow up in a better world. One where people think about others before hoarding all the toilet paper and Clorox wipes. Where people work on understanding the reasoning behind contrasting opinions rather than judging them. Where there is no “us” versus “them” mentality.
I want my children to grow up in a world where people are not treated differently because of the way they look or dress or talk, their education level, religion, job, or income level, but where people are seen for their character and heart and humanity.
I don’t have magical powers; I’m not all-powerful. But there are two things I know I can do. I can pray, and I can teach my children. Their generation has to do better than ours.
This summer is going to be different than any in the past, so I have come up with an idea to help combat my anxiety and sadness. I’m calling this the Summer of Kindness. Because of shelter-in-place rules here, we still can’t go to playgrounds or the zoo or take swim lessons, but we can try to bring smiles to the faces of others.
Here are some of the ideas I have to accomplish this:
Donate to those in need. Clothes, toys, food, money, time.
Spread positive messages. Chalk art on the sidewalk or local walking trails. Rocks painted with pretty images and left somewhere for others to find. Encouraging notes left on car windshields or on store shelves.
Pick up garbage in the neighborhood. We did this on Earth Day and it was a great experience so I want to make it a regular occurrence.
Go old school with snail mail. Send cards or drawings to family, friends, and strangers (nursing homes, hospitals, etc.) alike.
Pay for someone else’s groceries. Or takeout meal, coffee, gas…
Surprise gifts. Leave flowers, baked goods, or other small presents on friends’ or neighbors’ porches.
Phone calls. Call those we don’t talk to often, or those who live alone and might need cheering up during these difficult times.
Start a Little Free Library. I have been in love with this idea ever since I first heard about it (basically a bird-house type box you put in your yard, where anyone can take, leave, or trade books), so this summer might be the perfect time to put one up.
Care packages for the homeless. Fill with socks, toiletries, and snacks.
Practice gratitude. Say thank you and express appreciation for things large and small.
I’d love to hear if you have any ideas I can add to my list! And maybe some of you will even want to commit to a summer of kindness with me, and for that I say thank you.