It shouldn’t take a tragedy for us to be kind. But sometimes I think the universe and God allows tragedy to happen to remind us. Last December’s school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut acts as yet another catalyst for renewed kindness. It’s unfortunate, but we humans are forgetful. Even still, many of us will not forget the Sandy Hook victims.
Some day we’ll all get it right.
I remember when 9-11 happened. I’d worked in the World Trade Center a few years before. The company I worked for suffered the most losses. Several of my friends died in that tragedy. It’s a day I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Not only was it the first time I had felt such despair but it was also the first time that I’d seen my city, the place where I grew up and had always known as being hard knock, come together and show each other love. We were reminded of our humanity and the importance of kindness in the face of evil. We slowed down. We opened up. We chipped away at our exteriors. It reunited us and changed us as a community forever.
The community of Newton, CT is also forever changed. They will never forget and many people around the country share their pain. This post serves as a reminder to not forget the lives lost that day and to do something kind in remembrance. It’s one of a series of posts by other mom bloggers, each recognizing a victim from Newton, every day of this month. Today, I’m asking you to do two things in preparation for your week. 1.) Remember 6-year old Madeleine F. Hsu and 2.) Perform an Act of Kindness.
If you go to Time’s story remembering the victims, there’s very little information on Madeleine. No picture, no bubbly smile; just a name. The short sentence that describes her to the world reads: “Madeleine Hsu — also known as Maddy — was described by a neighbor as ‘very upbeat and kind’ and ‘a sweet, beautiful little girl.’ She often wore bright, flowery dresses.” It’s short and clearly not from a family member but it speaks volumes. It speaks of a family that probably wanted complete and utter privacy in this moment. No media attention, no cameras. The remaining thing that they have of their daughter, they wanted to protect and keep to themselves. As a parent of a critically-ill child, I understand. We all deal with pain and loss in very significantly different ways, but nonetheless, let’s remember Maddy.
Random Act of Kindness
What exactly is an act of kindness? It’s whatever your heart leads you to do. Unfortunately, we don’t do enough of these acts where we should. It could be helping someone who may be struggling to cross the street. It could be paying for a coffee for the person in line behind you. It could be bringing a meal to the homeless person you pass every day. It could be giving words of encouragement to a child that looks troubled. Whatever. It’s doing the unexpected, the thing that would make the next person smile and believe that the world is still good, even in the face of darkness.
Each of us bears the responsibility to be kind and live up to our full human potential. Think about what you might be able to do this week. I’ve decided to bring a bag of bagels to the other cancer parents when I take my son in for his procedure. I’m looking forward to putting a smile on someone’s face. What do you think you might do this week? I’d love to hear about it and have you come back and share your day.
“Faith lets the good of Jesus be infinitely bigger than all the bad of life…”
Image courtesy of:
pinksquid / 123RF Stock Photo