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Like 'blitzing' students, try a little kindness

In his 1970 song “Try A Little Kindness,” Glen Campbell exhorts his fans to “show a little kindness ... just shine your light for everyone to see,” a message we all need to hear.

So we at the News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune — along with many others working in offices, shops, churches and even Pacific University in downtown Forest Grove — were pleased to welcome a small group of first- and second-graders from the Forest Grove Community School Friday morning when they made the rounds on a “Kindness Blitz.”

FGCS Director of School Operations Karen Torry accompanied a half-dozen youngsters bearing tokens of kindness: handmade cards, Satsuma oranges, construction-paper flowers and tiny bottles of bubbles — special gifts that made us smile. But the best part about their brief visit was the answers the kids gave to the question, “What’s a Kindness Blitz?”

“Be nice,” read a card proffered by one boy.

“You rokc (sic),” another child wrote on a paper flower made of hearts.

Eight-year-old Gemma summed it up this way: “It’s where you are nice to other people for no reason at all.”

It isn’t the first time we’ve heard of an organically grown kindness campaign. The famous yellow smiley face of the 1970s, accompanied by the words, “Have A Nice Day!” gave way to the 1990s bumper sticker that encouraged folks to “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty.”

In recent years, though — with the notable local exception of the Love Rocks movement started by Forest Grove residents Susan Dieter-Robinson and Tom Robinson — there seems to have been a shortage of concerted grassroots efforts to spread goodwill to others. So we’re in favor of an invigorated kindness campaign in the midst of a year of presidential politics, economic adversity and life stressors that can put a frown on the face of even the most optimistic and positive person.

Wouldn’t it be great if we took the students’ message to heart — particularly with Valentine’s Day so close in the rear-view mirror — and spread a little kindness around the community on our own? A quick email appreciating a co-worker. A handwritten note to a friend. A spring flower for an ailing relative.

Really, as the kids so aptly demonstrated, it isn’t hard to lighten someone’s load and brighten someone’s week. All it takes is one random act. Thanks to the students of FGCS for a timely reminder.