Random acts of kindness


Brenda Nail DeLauder

Columnist


Because the news is so filled with ugliness and horror, I read or watch just enough to know some of what is going on. Then I turn my attention to positive articles and pictures in order to smile. Some call it sticking my head in the sand and I call it determined preservation. Being aware of the ugly topics is one thing, but I don’t see how a constant focus on them will make anything better. I choose not to concentrate on all the violence, gloom and doom because I don’t like to constantly feel sad, horrified or angry.

Whenever the news is particularly dark, I’ll take a few moments to scroll through the internet in search of something happy, finding stories or pictures featuring the good in humanity. Or I’ll go outside where there is always something to help me remember why each day is a blessing to embrace. Stories I love to see are of humans, in their everyday lives, reaching out to help another living being. The biker who quickly pulled over, then hurried to help a woman walking with a cane to cross the street, did more than help one woman. His kindness gave many a reason to smile. Watching Pepper do his happy dance for a favorite neighbor, who arrived home from a trip, caught the attention of people driving by, making them laugh.

A quickly spreading story is called “going viral.” I like seeing the happy ones go wildly viral because it tells me I’m not the only one wanting something to help lighten the load, pushing aside the devil and his vileness. Someone snapped a picture of a well-dressed woman, not only buying a take-out meal for a guy on the street, but one for herself as well. She sat down on a box next to the man and they had lunch together. The police officer who took his spare boots from his car trunk and gave them to a homeless man without shoes, or the firefighter who risked his life to save a kitty. The picture shows the indescribable gratitude on the owner’s face when he hands her the beloved pet.

So often ugliness begins with quick tempers and heated words. Through the years I have worked hard to cease my own quick responses. Even when I thought I was standing up for the right reason, I learned it wasn’t always the best action to take. It’s not easy to step back and think before reacting. Stopping yourself requires great effort, but certainly a challenge worth tackling.

When applying the “pause button” to oneself before responding, it is also a good time to figure out if the problem is something you can change. If you physically or mentally cannot correct the circumstance, then go with the very best plan of action. Take it immediately to our Heavenly Father in prayer and ask for His will to be done. Then leave it there to be handled by the Master in His own time. If it is something you can change, then seek the Lord’s guidance to gain the wisdom and direction you will need. I still find myself amazed by His talents!

I feel better after viewing various random acts of kindness. It tells me even with all the sad, bad, ugly happenings in our world today, we still have good in us. I often wonder if the news media spent more time showing positive stories, how great an impact it could make on the world. In the meantime, let’s keep praying. God loves us, hasn’t stopped caring, and He surely has not left us. Starting today, share a smile to help lighten someone’s heart.


Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.