Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


September 16, 2013

TIDBITS: Take the kindness challenge

CROSSVILLE — We all have the power to lift someone’s spirits right now, either through granting a favor, offering a compliment or simply smiling and saying “Good morning!”

I’m thankful to say I’ve been the recipient of these little pick-me-ups. I’ve had people tell me how much they enjoy my columns when I’m out and about shopping. I get little notes and emails thanking me for my work.

That’s really nice because, many times, the only feedback your humble newspaper staff gets are complaints about this, that and the other. It’s nice to have people take a moment and tell you they appreciate what you do and that they think you’re pretty good at it, too.

Dorothy Copus Brush, a long-time Chronicle columnist who passed away earlier this year, often sent me little notes along with her weekly columns, that included kind words for me. Bless her, she always had impeccable timing, as though she knew I was feeling low that morning and could use some nice words.

I’ve also got a little collection of notecards, thank you’s and other reminders that, despite what that person on the phone just said, I’m really not dumber than a box or rocks or the worst person to walk the earth. Yes, yes, we get those types of calls here.

But do I put enough kindness out there in the world? My friends tell me I’m kind to them and a good friend, but what about to random people I come into contact with? Am I kind to those I’ve never met?

Am I grouchy? Yes, I can be.

Am I too focused on myself to think about those in my path? Um, yep. That’s happened, too.

Have I even gone beyond simply not being kind to being rude? I have no doubt it’s happened.

Being kind to others is something we should all strive for. Looking at the headlines of recent newspapers, I think we can all agree our world, and our own community, could use a lot more kindness.

Taking the a cue from Michael Jackson, I’m going to start with the woman in the mirror and ask her to change her ways.

That’s why I’m going to take the 21 day kindness challenge, issued by KindSpring, the volunteer-run, virtual organization that seeks to help people practice random acts of kindness, and encourages recipients of random acts to pay it forward.

These random acts can include just about anything you can think of, like playing doorman for strangers for a few minutes; including a nice note in a book; buying treats for your coworkers; thanking a public employee and complimenting their work; adding coins to a parking meter; handing out water on a hot day; or simply giving a parking spot to another car.

Acts of kindness don’t have to break the bank. You won’t go broke offering a helping hand to someone struggling to carry a bunch of bags to their car or holding an umbrella for someone stranded in a rain shower, but you’ll put a little more kindness in the world. It will make you feel better and it will make that person feel better. Perhaps they’ll go out and make someone else’s day better, too.

Start working on the 21-day challenge, and when World Kindness Day rolls around Nov. 13, you’ll have no trouble helping to change the world with kindness.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at

Text Only
  • 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
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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