Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

April 16, 2013

LION & THE LAMB: Random acts of kindness

CROSSVILLE —

A recent front page article in USA TODAY was built around “Be Kind.” The paper noted, “Some people are listening to their hearts—while others are listening to social media while reflecting on the subject, ‘people-helping-people.’”

Especially noted was the age group classed as “Millennials.” These consist of Americans born between 1982 and 2004. Many in this age group “live and breathe social media and are broadly convinced that doing the right thing isn’t just vogue, but mandatory. With nearly a third of the population driving this trend, kindness is becoming the nation’s newest currency.”

This emphasis in our lifestyle can be simply stated—”Love one another!” (Or at least, “Like one another!”) This philosophy is seen at the close of national evening TV news programs. ABC, CBS, NBC present stories centered on kindness. This is one way of presenting our nation at its best with “show-me-what-you’re-doing-for-others.”

Some bumper stickers are humorous, some are humorless, some are crude, some puzzling, some selfish, some are helpful and thoughtful. I was at an intersection where the red light seemed to be breaking a record for not changing. Of course I was in a hurry. (Yes, I know I should have left sooner, can I come up with a good excuse for being late?) Then, in the midst of my fretting and agitation, I spotted it. It was a bumper sticker that read: “Today I will commit a random act of kindness—will you?”

That’s my kind of bumper sticker. That’s my kind of philosophy for living. The opportunities for putting kindness into action are endless.

While making a trip to Scottsbluff, Nebraska we stopped briefly to say “Hi” to a friend we had not seen in more than 30 years. In the conversation Carlyle mentioned, “I remember when we were together at a summer youth conference. I had recently undergone surgery and you carried all my suitcases over that long trail.” I would hardly consider that a major contribution in one’s life, but to Carlyle it was a remembered random act of kindness.

Doing good is becoming less of an option and more of a requirement. Extensive research shows that performing kind acts—the act of giving—makes people feel happier. The New Testament puts it this way, with a challenge: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35b)

For those of us who are privileged to live in Cumberland County comes the challenge to extend kindness to all types: lions, lambs, moose, horses, butterflies, and even skunks. The list goes on with endless opportunities to exhibit kindness to fellow beings of all shapes and sizes. And, a person can start early in life.

Our oldest daughter, Stephanie, was in the second grade when the incident happened. Sheral and I only learned about it because Stephanie’s teacher told us at a parent-teacher conference. One day after school Stephanie and a group of students were walking home. The group began to make snide remarks about Bob, who was overweight. By the time they reached our street, Bob was in tears. As he headed for his home, Stephanie said, “I’m sorry they called you ‘fat’. I’ll be your friend.” Bob’s parents were so grateful and impressed by this kindness that they told the teacher, who relayed the event to us.

So, dear readers, young, old or in-between, “Go and do likewise.”

• • •

This column is sponsored by Cumberland Countians for Peace and Justice and dedicated by the local writers to the theme that the lion and the lamb can and must learn to live together and grow in their relationship toward one another to ensure a better world. Opinions expressed in “Lion and the Lamb” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact Ted Braun, editor, at 277-5135.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice