Nicole J. Phillips
I went to a conference earlier this month that was basically a two-day party for people who love kindness. I wish I would have had the foresight to record their messages. I would have had enough material to fill this column for the next three years.
When we're too busy to look someone in the eye, smile and truly connect for even a moment, we stay stagnant and alone. Great things happen when people come together for an afternoon at the pool, or perhaps for a night in the theater.
I think 2 might be my favorite age. Not for my own kids, but for other people's kids.
We are angels on Earth. Knowingly or unknowingly, we cross paths with people who desperately need us. They need a kind word, they need an invitation to dinner or they need us to see them when they're swimming too deep. Dolorus and Vern Krile from Fargo found themselves in a spot where help showed up before they even knew they needed it.
A letter came to my house the other day, but it wasn't addressed to me. It was for a 12-year-old boy named Marcus. No return address and stamped at a post office two states away. Hmmm. "Hey, Marcus, you got some mail!" I yelled from my office. "Me? Who's it from?" he asked as he ambled into the room.
You know what's super fun? Putting a post on social media asking people to share their favorite kindness stories. Try it sometime. It's an immediate boost to your day and a great way to remember there are a lot of kind things happening quietly behind the scenes in our world.
The things that break our hearts are often the things that make us powerful. I am regularly reminding my children and their friends that someday they will have the opportunity to use each hurt to help another human. A dear friend shared the following story with me, and although I was sad for her younger self, I know it is these sorts of events that mold us into people who learn to love others well.
Just when Darcy Barry should have been enjoying her senior year of high school and looking forward to future adventures, life threw her a fast-pitch curveball.
When my son started bringing home information about his sixth-grade graduation, I thought it was cute. There would be a ceremony and a class party and even some donated prizes. Then I found out some of the parents were giving their children gifts to celebrate the milestone.
I'm a pretty outgoing person. There are certainly things that heighten my anxiety, but talking to strangers isn't one of them.