Have You Witnessed an Overflow of Kindness Since the Coronavirus Crisis?

Video Transcription:

Jim Dodson: Hi, it's Jim Dodson, The Florida Bike Guy. So here we are, we're how many weeks in to this Coronavirus issue, and what do we find ourselves surrounded by? Kindness, isn't it amazing? Isn't it amazing that if you had predicted that, before this happened, that our country would be thrown into this big period of upheaval, would you have predicted that people would be abounding in kindness? Or would you think that we would be kind of every man for himself? I think the worst of us is to imagine that it would be the other, but we're finding is that, remarkably, we are a people who are evidencing kindness at every level. It's people helping their neighbors, they're helping strangers. We have it at the corporate level. We have it at the private level. We have it at church level, at every level of organization, every level of person, old and young, going out of their way to help someone, to be kind. This has caused us to kinda look inward and be drawn to our kinder nature.

The other day there was a great piece of news that I heard about a kid, young kid, teenager, who had assembled a volunteer army of 700 people, I think it was, or it might have been 7000 people up in New York, simply to deliver food at no charge to people who couldn't get out of their homes to go get it. I think at the time that the story ran, there was 700 people that they had helped. This is some kid who had this idea to help his neighbors.

We have countless stories of people reaching out to those that they have not had contact with in a while, reaching out to people who can't get out of their houses. You know, giving words of encouragement, showing kindness. How many stories have you heard of restaurants doing what they can, simply to provide work to their employees, to have a service to people who need their services right now? They've changed their production, they've stopped producing, they're doing carry-out only, but so many things they're doing to help people.

Look at all the manufacturers in the country that are rallying right now, really, for medical devices, masks, medications. I heard the other day, Tesla and other auto manufacturers, are going to start producing respirators. Think of all the work that's being done right now to produce respirators, masks, and gowns, three critical things we need in the healthcare industry right now. Where's that coming from? From our industries who are diverting what they're doing normally, and doing this act to try to help their neighbors across the country.

I was talking to one of my grandchildren this morning, and what they're doing in their neighborhood is the kids are doing sidewalk art because there's so many people out on the sidewalk walking because there's no cars on the road, and they're putting, they're drawing happy, kind things on the sidewalk for neighbors to see as they walk by. How encouraging is that? And it's not just them, it's other kids in their neighborhood, as well.

You know, when these things happen, when we are faced with a national crisis, it is not unusual for us to respond this way. And I think that it's so wonderful to me to see this kindness, this outpouring of genuine concern and help for one another. My daughter lived in Manhattan in 9/11, and it was remarkable, and everyone talked about it, how the people of Manhattan changed their behavior toward one another overnight. You know, that city is known for, don't speak to people on the street, don't make eye contact, don't engage people in conversation on the subway. And what she found during those weeks after 9/11 was someone holding the door for you, helping you carry things, opening the door, engaging in conversation, speaking to people that they didn't know, all the things New Yorkers classically did not do. Why? They were reconnecting on a very basic level of kindness towards one another. It's sort of our innate ability to do that.

A crisis like this really causes us, whether we think about it or not think about it, to reevaluate what is most important in our lives. Right now, we're so limited in what we can do. We're largely at home, depending on where you are in the country. You're surrounded by the people generally that you love and spend the most time with, and yet we're still reaching out to engage others by phone, by email, by conversation on the street, from maybe across the street, but conversation with one another, nonetheless.

What I have understood is that kindness actually helps the person who's giving it, and the person who receives it. It's not one of the situation where kindness flows one way and the giver of kindness gives up something, and the receiver receives something. No, when kindness is given, both sides walk away from that moment of kindness, refreshed and energized, and feeling better about life.

I would love to hear whether you have given or received kindness. Let me hear from you. I think it would be encouraging for people to hear that, and we'll talk about it again. I'm Jim Dodson, The Florida Bike Guy. Take care.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.