Recent attacks on priests and places of worship show the increased antagonism toward religion
This is more of what we need in this world (warning: tissue recommended)
I saw a news clip the other day that brought me to tears. Admittedly, at approximately a million weeks pregnant, it doesn’t take much. But watching the video still made me think: In our hardened, jaded, mind-your-own-business world, we need more of this.
And it’s not all that hard. What “this” was is basic kindness.
The clip, from CBS News’ “The Uplift,” told the story of an elderly woman who, for the past 12 years, has spent her mornings and afternoons waving out her window to high school kids as they walked to and from school.
“I thought, ‘Well, if they’re looking in, I’ll wave to them.’ And that’s how it started,” said Tinney Davidson in an interview.
The kids, in turn, began to wave back. And, as the years passed, the woman in the window and the kids on the street formed a special bond.
Davidson, now 88, soon will be moving into a senior living facility, and the kids wanted to give her a proper send-off. Marching down the street toward Davidson’s house one last time, hundreds of students carried signs that showed just how much her single, simple act of kindness had meant to them.
“We love U, Mrs. Davidson,” the signs read. “Thanks 4 being awesome. Highland <3s Mrs. Davidson.”
They also carried flowers. And, once in her yard, they blew her a kiss goodbye and waved, as a group, for a final time as she sat on the porch.
“I was shocked, again, that there are so many kids that want to say goodbye to me,” Davidson said.
Three days after it was posted, the video had more than 10,000,000 views on Facebook — a stat that, along with the story, tells us what we already know: That kindness, that love, really, is infectious.
And it can be so simple. A smile instead of a frown. Making eye contact. Calling someone by name. A wave out the window. These are not difficult things, and they’re not giant gestures, but they are what can make a difference.
This story caught my attention for another reason, too. Around the same time I watched the video, I read a new and disturbing statistic: From 2007 to 2016, suicide among 10- to 19-year-olds had gone up by 56%. And among girls aged 10 to 14, the rate of suicide had tripled. Experts are working on an explanation, and no doubt there are a variety of factors.
But I think we can safely say that more kindness in the world can only help.