Sarah Stultz: Remember the impact a kind deed can have

Published 10:00 pm Monday, November 13, 2017

Nose for News, By Sarah Stultz

You see it all the time on social media. Someone volunteers to pay for the order of the person behind them in a drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant, and then that person decides to pay it forward and pay for the person behind them, and so on.

It’s one of those feel-good stories that inspires you — or at least it does me — to speak a little nicer, smile a little wider and be a little kinder — and all without the hope of receiving anything in return.

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I’m not sure if this specific act of kindness has ever happened in Albert Lea, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to witness.

I get excited when I hear about opportunities like this that started with one person and spread to dozens, if not hundreds, of other people. One person decided he or she wanted to do something nice for his fellow community member and took a leap. The rest was history.

Monday was World Kindness Day, and though we as a human race should strive to be kind every day, this day encouraged people to make an extra effort to do so.

The day was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, and focuses on the power that positivity and kind deeds can make in our communities.

The day made me reflect on the kindness I have seen shown to me, as well as on how I treat others and areas where I can improve. There is always room for improvement.

We never know exactly what is going on with those around us since we haven’t walked in their shoes. And we never know when one kind act will make all the difference.

Whether it’s a phone call, a card in the mail, a plate of cookies, a ride somewhere, holding a door open for someone or simply giving someone a sincere smile, the opportunities are endless that we can give to others.

Especially as the holidays approach, there are many chances we have to brighten people’s lives. The holidays can be a difficult time for many — whether because of loneliness, loss, financial strain or other reasons.

So, if you get a nudge to help a friend, neighbor or community member — act on it.

You may never know the impact you can make on someone’s life.

Remember, kindness starts with one.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.