Create kindness in the world

Published 9:28 am Thursday, March 22, 2012


There is so much going on in our world that we have little control over. We hear about children bullying in the classrooms and playgrounds. What do child bullies turn into? Adults who bully.

A very dear friend of mine is disabled. She is older and has a serious respiratory problem. She has been bullied because of her medical condition and medical needs by her neighbors in two of her apartment buildings. In her current dwelling, her neighbor has shown hostility and has harassed her continually. The neighbor moved into the building last November.

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My friend brought her a welcome gift basket and also advised her of her serious respiratory condition. This condition requires that she not be exposed to cleaning and deodorizing and air freshener, and other heavy perfumed chemicals. The new neighbor had been using ammonia in the entryway, and it had caused constricted airways, nose bleeding and several medical emergencies for my friend.

When my friend told her this, the new neighbor smiled and said, “That’s good to know.” And, for the past several months my friend has been harassed by this cruel person who seems to delight in spraying heavy chemical sprays and using heavy ammonia in the entryway on a daily basis.

This is not only cruel. It is malicious, and it would be considered harassment by any definition. The consequences of this daily exposure are that my friend’s health has taken a serious turn for the worse. She feels like she is being assaulted in her own home. Why doesn’t she just move out? Well, that is what her neighbor is attempting to force her to do. Or perhaps her neighbor simply finds delight in harassing disabled people.

Good people, good citizens, don’t act like this. Good people take care of one another; they don’t harass the elderly and disabled. We have so many opportunities every day to show kindness toward one another and to help one another. That is something that we can do right here in Albert Lea. We can be kind to our neighbors. Try a little kindness.

I am ever mindful that we are many people sharing the same community, country and planet. As human beings, we share our weakness and frailties, our hopes, dreams and longings, our air, land and water, and, finally, our need for discovery and acceptance. Try a little kindness. It goes a long way.


Yuri Justin

Albert Lea