What will history say of us when it looks back at the year 2020?
In this time of crisis that has affected every country on earth, what will it say of humanity? Will it record the intensity of panic buying and the rampant selfishness; the ‘all for one and none for you’ mentality? Will it record the fear and the statistics of thousands upon thousands of people suffering through illness and grief for lost loved ones? Undoubtedly. But what if those who read the pages of these times also see it marked by profound and simple acts of kindness that remade communities – acts of generosity and kindness springing up from the bleakness like flowers that surprisingly flourish through cracked sidewalk pavements.
We are in for the long-haul in this COVID-19 season – it is evident that there is no quick fix. A realisation has dawned on us that we really are in this together. The simple decisions we make can have a huge impact on someone else in our community – both negative and positive.
So how do we get through this season together? Perhaps kindness is our way through.
But what does practising kindness look like in these days of lockdowns, social distancing and isolation? It’s quite simply, being a good neighbour.
From dropping a note in the letterbox of a neighbour with offers to pick up groceries, urgent supplies or pharmacy scripts to even just a friendly phone call, there are so many ways to see kindness spread throughout our community.
Kindness makes a way
Here are some ideas to keep connected with each other and keep our communities flourishing despite the limitations we all face. (One note of caution: be sure to check your local government’s directives when it comes to social distancing and movement outside of your home).
- Mow your neighbour’s front lawn or weed their front garden
- Order a home delivery meal for a friend in isolation
- Get your children to draw pictures or write letters to elderly residents in nursing homes
- Go through your phone contacts and choose one or two people each day to send an encouraging text or call them to ask how they are doing
- If you have a spare laptop or tablet, loan it to someone who needs one for online schoolwork or working from home
- Check in with friends or family new to working from home and offer to walk them through some basic tech setup
- Set up a weekly or fortnightly video-conferencing chat with friends or family
- Send a card or email to a teacher or the school staff telling them what a wonderful job they are doing
- When you do your grocery shopping, be sure to encourage the check-out assistants with a kind word
- Check in on your healthcare professional friends and frontline workers and make sure they are doing ok.
- Use your social media to promote the good things happening in your world rather than filling your posts with complaints #spreadkindness #viralkindness
- Give to organisations providing critical support to vulnerable people
- Staying home and resisting the urge to go out is the ultimate act of kindness.
Let history not merely record the devastation, the fear and the panic, but let it also record with overwhelming number, the selfless, generous acts of people who understand their common humanity and seek to bring love and care to each other in a terribly broken time in our world. It’s amazing how far a little bit of kindness will go. It may just see us through and remake the world.