June 26, 2003
time to offer an act of kindness
after week, your column generally responds to questions addressing
problems created by individuals who violate standards of integrity
and ethics. Just for a change of pace, would you please cite examples
of people who exhibit integrity?
Let's start with an optimistic assumption that a significant
number of human beings are pretty good. We are confident that people
will "come through in the clutch" with honesty and caring.
Every day, decent people are conducting themselves with sincerity
and integrity and they are not making their actions appear to be any
behavior is not anything earth-shattering or new. Perhaps that was
the message of the poet, William Wordsworth, who at the age of 28,
in 1798, provided these powerful and reassuring words: "That
best portion of a good [person's] life, [the] little, nameless,
unremembered acts of kindness and of love."
of kindness might include:
for an impatient driver to move ahead or to turn in front.
2. Rather than
just providing directions, escorting visitors or strangers to their
3. Bending down
or sitting down to appear face-to-face with a child when communicating,
so as to make the relationship and connection less overwhelming.
4. Waiting graciously
for the person who answers the telephone to complete introductory
comments before interrupting with questions or requests.
attentively to the same story, retold the "umpteenth time"
by a forgetful friend, appreciating how important the telling of the
story is to the speaker.
the effective communication, as well as the efforts, of those around
us whose second language is English, but upon whose work we depend.
tolerance, spoken and unspoken, for other points of view; recognizing
that two people can see the same situation and draw different conclusions.
8. Praising the
hard work and sincere effort of those whose services harvest our food,
prepare our meals, keep our automobiles running, deliver our mail,
teach us, guide us spiritually, operate transportation systems, provide
pure water and protect our society.