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Pandemic Acts of Kindness

By Lucy Crain

In these days of social distancing and admonitions to stay inside and at least 6 feet away from others, we are mindful that people over 60 are at increased risk (because of waning immunity with age) from the pandemic novel Coronavirus, referred to as COVID 19. Sometimes it’s difficult to admit our increased vulnerabilities, the inadvisability of volunteering to help others, and the need to accept offers of help from others. This, however, is a time to appreciate such offers. Even before the “Stay at Home” edict from our Governor, one of our neighbors called to say she was going to Costco and wanted to know what she could get for us. Other neighbors have reached out with similar offers and a third neighbor called last night to say that he’s going to the grocery this am and asked if he could get something for us. (Our remaining milk is on the verge of spoiling, so this is indeed a timely offer!) When we were younger and not at such increased risk, we provided similar services to others, not really thinking that we would be grateful recipients so soon.

-We grew up with our parents and grandparents and Sunday School teachers instructing us to live our lives by the Golden Rule. For most of us, it’s an ingrained part of what we believe and how we interact. It’s universally applicable. I quickly researched the background of this teaching. The following represents only a sample of those. Look and you can probably find more examples in print or online. It could be a good learning experience during our period of confinement.

-If you spend a few minutes searching you’ll find these and others;

“In the Old Testament Book of Leviticus 19:18 , you’ll find “love they neighbor as thyself”. The old Hebrew term “Mitzvah” defines kindness to another by law, but the joy following that act of kindness is beyond the legal definition. PRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS AND SENSELESS ACTS OF BEAUTY” was seen in 1982 as an inscription on the gate at Anne Herbert’s residence in Sausalito. Once discovered, she proceeded to write a book by that title! Mark Twain wrote,” Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Jesus taught “In everything do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. The verse is generally referred to as the “Golden Rule” and is found in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. Such instructions are found in other major religions as well and are good rules by which to live our lives everyday and especially in times of adversity.

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