Kindness – it can’t hurt

Kindness – what a concept.

It often seems forgotten that, amid the raucous back and forth of social media, segments of which appear filled with maximum polarization and vitriol on every topic, it doesn’t need to be that way.

In fact it isn’t.

Most of our personal in-person interactions on topics as mundane as the Maple Leafs’ latest outing and as politically charged as vaccination mandates are actually conducted in reasoned and respectful fashion. For many, it’s only when they slide behind a keyboard that the chains come off and anything goes when it comes to browbeating those with different views.

Some don’t even seem to realize that they’re doing it. I recently came across a Twitter poster whose avatar combined the slogan “If you can be anything, be kind” with several hashtags of the “#trudeaucrimesagainsthumanity” variety leading into a feed containing few, if any, sentiments that could be easily misconstrued as “kind.”

But I digress.

The point of this column is to commend some locals who are showing the way when it comes to demonstrating a capacity for kindness.

Last week’s issue of the North Wellington Community News contained an article detailing the plight of local businesses hit hardest by pandemic restrictions. While some form of restrictions are, unfortunately, all too necessary, it shouldn’t be forgotten that some sectors have been compelled to sacrifice disproportionately and many are barely hanging on through it all.

As if on cue, this weeks’ issue contains a story on the Minto Spread Kindness initiative. Conceived by the Minto Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Minto, the program involves purchasing gift cards to most affected local businesses for distribution to health care workers, random shoppers, and other people in the community. In return, the recipients are simply asked to “pass on the kindness.”

In a similar vein, the Minto Youth Action Council (MYAC) is encouraging and facilitating random acts of kindness through a program of its own. The group is offering to send, free of charge, “From Your Friend Care Packages” from youth to youth in the community. Through the program, youth from 12 to 26 can spread some fun and cheer by sending friends a package and message to let them know someone is thinking of them.

Details on participation in both kindness-spreading programs can be found elsewhere in this issue.

With any luck, the spirit of both programs will spread beyond their parameters and into everyday discourse as well.

Kindness – it can’t hurt.