By Jamie Lindsey
Life has been hard lately. For everyone. This global civil rights movement is nowhere near over and there is still a lot of work to do. Work that requires our citizens to come together and create community action. For our community to come together, we have to make sure we make this space safe for everyone.
Why spread kindness like peanut butter? Peanut butter sticks and it’s hard to get out of anything it’s on. Except a spoon. Spread kindness so much it sticks to every person and smears all around town.
Sophocles said, “One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession.”
Living in Joplin my entire life has been a bittersweet experience. I have seen hate, misogyny, and drug use frequently. However, with the bad comes the good, and what I have recently been seeing around town has been amazing and gives me so much hope. I have seen community members come together, expressing concern and kindness, helping and promoting and lifting each other up. It’s been an amazing experience and has truly taught me the power of community.
I have noticed myself smiling more, asking how others are doing more and offering help when I can. I’m definitely not trying to brag about the things I’ve been doing, what I want is for the community to come together and do the exact same things. I want people to talk about how kind the citizens of Joplin can be. I want people to welcome newcomers to our area with a smile.
In the middle of this movement, let’s remember to spread kindness. People are hurting. Other people are causing that hurt. It’s time that we, as global citizens, begin to LIFT each other up rather than tear each other down. It’s time to empower yourself, which will help you empower others.
We do not have time for negativity. We do not have time for toxicity. We won’t pay any attention to it. We will continue to spread kindness around like peanut butter. So it sticks.
Pick up trash. Feed the homeless. Teach your children to be kind. Help someone with groceries. Give the person on the corner a few bucks and a water. Help a damn friend when they need help. Support each other. Empower each other.