Sometimes, when I’m feeling down, I sit very still and make a mental list of all the amazing acts of kindness that are happening not despite COVID-19, but because of it.
People are going out of their way to add color to the world. Just look at all the hearts in the windows!
Many of us have had to become shape-shifters in the workforce, figuring out how to do what we do with limited resources. It’s all uncharted ground, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad.
DeAnn Ament, from Jamestown, N.D., sent me this story about a woman who continues to share her passion for people’s health, regardless of circumstances.
"I joined the gym about four years ago and right away noticed this kind soul. Lisa would be taking blood pressure readings for members, organizing meals for a member that had been hospitalized, calling a member to check on them if they hadn't showed up in a while, offering to pray for anyone who needed that extra prayer and the list goes on. She is a friend to everyone at the gym.
"Her 6 a.m. exercise class had up to 14 people and her 7 a.m. was just as popular. The gym is located next to the senior center and assisted living facility. It is open to the public, but the morning members range from age 40 to 80.
"When COVID-19 hit, Lisa made a private YouTube account and posted a warmup, cooldown and exercise class. She wanted to make sure everyone continued to stay active. She continued to add class videos to this account and check in with everyone via texts, phone calls and emails.
"At the end of March, Lisa was informed that the gym would not reopen. She had lost her job. Has that stopped her from keeping her gym ‘family’ moving? No!
"In March (pre-quarantine), she told the members we could each pick a class and the playlist for that class; we would each have a special workout day. I picked aerobics with an '80s playlist. Even though she is no longer an employee and does not need to honor this ‘special member’ workout of the day, she continues to record and share with us on a regular basis.
"Lisa recently sent an email with our video that included this reminder: ‘Remember when we were kids, we loved playing outside and moving our bodies! It was called play! You are never too old to play. I hope that you will take this video, make it your own, and just have fun!’
"During a time of crisis, she is giving of herself to make sure everyone stays active and healthy! Lisa is kindness and what a blessing it is!"
Do you have a special hobby or passion? Now is a great time to dust off the paint brushes, sift the flour or dig out the gardening gloves.
There are many people who would love to be gifted with the fruits of your labor.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at email@example.com.
Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Aberdeen, S.D., with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips, the head men's basketball coach at Northern State University. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.