By Andrea Arnold, Associate Editor

I think a majority of adults have heard one or both of these sage pieces of advice. The first is commonly known as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The second is something many people find themselves saying, especially to children. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin at all” (Thank you Thumper). More people need to regularly put these into practice.

A third way that people can care for one another is as simple as one word: respect. Doing nice things for others doesn’t have to be hard. Holding doors open with a smile and greeting, chatting with someone at the coffee shop, calling someone when their name crosses your mind or helping a busy parent are easy and inexpensive ways to brighten someone’s day.

If money isn’t a hurdle, there are so many ways to infuse joy into another person’s day.

A prepaid coffee for the next person in line, a favourite treat delivery or providing a service free of charge.
The possibilities are endless. They are limited only by willingness and creativity.

This brings me to the second piece of advice. Sometimes, the best way to extend kindness is to not act, or speak. Refraining from doing or saying something that could diminish another, in itself is an act of kindness.

I have seen the morale of not just McBride, but communities all over, take a serious hit in the last few years. More people worried about themselves and not so many looking out for one another. Children are watching this and many are growing up not knowing how much joy can come from performing simple kind acts.

There is a third umbrella statement for acts of kindness. Respect. Respect is not a new concept, but looking around, I have seen a newfound lack of it across generations. I believe it is a critical piece of humanity. It is especially important now, as restrictions lift and people are returning to a more social existence. The way we respect each other’s comfort levels and views will help inform the next generation.

I would love it if more people make a conscious effort to do something nice for someone else once a week. It could even be a family activity, involving the kids and teaching the importance of looking out for each other. I believe that if you do something often enough, it will become a habit, and before you know it, it will be second nature to lend a hand. As lives across the valley are impacted by the ongoing acts of kindness, maybe others will join in.