It's that time again.

It's time to forgive your enemies, find joy in helping others and add a little light to the darkness around you. It's Random Acts of Kindness week -- Feb. 10 to Feb. 16.

What a shame we must mark our calendars to remind us to be kind.

Marty Hills, local chairperson of Random Acts of Kindness Week, is a perfect spokesperson for the week. She is one of the kindest women I have ever met. Don't tell her I said so. She will blush and deny it.

Marty has sent us some suggestions for the week of kindness, like letting someone merge into your traffic lane with a smile and a wave, laugh out loud and often, smile generously, write a note to the boss of someone who has helped you thanking them for having such a great employee.

I really like that last suggestion. We're all too quick to complain when we deal with bad service, but not so eager to praise good service.

And speaking of notes, please make thank you notes a part of your life. I have what I call a "rainy day file" where I keep the thank you notes and cards and letters of encouragement I have received over the years. Every once in a while I revisit the file, and it cheers me immensely.

There are so many acts of kindness in that file. A beautiful and love-filled thank you note from my niece, Chrissy, hasn't made it into the file yet. I've stashed it in the top drawer of my vanity and I take it out and reread it when I'm having a blue day. Her kindness has been sustaining me for several months.

My sister's BFF, Karan, looks for ways to do little things like get a shopping cart for someone who has a lot of purchases in their arms or thank an armed forces member for his or her service. She also takes homemade candy to local police and fire stations. I think it would be nice if she brought some to the newspaper offices, as well.

With random acts of kindness, little things really do mean a lot. Being kind does not have to cost you much in time or effort and usually requires no advance planning.

Words of praise are certainly appreciated. Sincere compliments are welcomed by all. Scrape snow from a co-worker's car. Hold the door for someone. Give a tip to a drive-through cashier. Check on an elderly neighbor.

Send a thinking of you card to someone who is housebound. There are so many ways to be kind.

The Golden Rule certainly applies for kindness week.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Luke 6:31

If we start out doing kindnesses each day for one week, perhaps we can make it a habit and make it random acts of kindness month, then random acts of kindness year. And then, a random acts of kindness life.


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