Isolation, Solitude & Kindness

It rained hard last night, only letting up well after dawn. My long anticipated golf game was washed out, so I decided on a long hike instead. Traipsing along on my return leg, I noticed a single set of distinctive prints in the moist earth. Taking a step back, I realized they were mine!

I’m an introvert, so seeing both sets of footprints on the trail made me smile. BTW – being an introvert does NOT mean I don’t like being around people, only that my emotional recharging occurs in seclusion, not in groups. I love being around people and can be quite ‘extroverted,’ but after a while my emotional batteries’ warning light comes on and I need to escape to a nearby cave.

All this to say that social distancing has not been as difficult for me as for many. I miss people, but am quite content by myself, catching up on work, home chores, reading and even doing a bit of writing. I have observed the impact of the last two months on others. We have all been transported into a science fiction movie almost overnight and like any decent sci-fi thriller, there is a huge buildup of fear and uncertainty.

Two occurrences made recent events real for me – schools shutting down and the postponing of the release of the new Bond movie. I love Bond movies and was really looking forward to Daniel Craig’s swan song. This is serious. Schools closing, this is really serious. I work at a school; my daughter and and my son are both enrolled in university.  Suddenly faced with piecing together a marathon airplane trip to bring Sara home, I was planning on writing, but struggling with my current project since last summer. Instead, God clearly nudged me to put it aside and share simple acts of kindness that would shine light into the world, one beam at a time. We all could use more kindness, from others and from ourselves.

Over that long day on planes and layovers and the weeks since, Kindness-19 (it’s a book!) emerged.  I feel led to help with a groundswell of kindness that we all so desperately need. It is a simple book, more a short collection. Not too profound, although my hope is that there is more depth to it than a quick first read might reveal. A few excerpts are below. If you like it, please consider telling 10 friends (or more) who could use a little life lift and ask them to do the same. Also, leave a review on Amazon. If you don’t like it, please let me know. If it sucks, let me know and I’ll refund your money!

Be well, be blessed, be kind.


From Kindness-19. On sale at fine Amazon outlets on every computer worldwide:

Smile at a stranger. It will cost you nothing and might just be returned with interest.

When fear and chaos come calling, firmly and politely refuse them entrance. Your greeting them with joy and positivity are the profoundest gifts you can bestow – or receive.

Start a ripple effect of kindness.

Remember the joy you will find is the joy that you seek.

Try hard not to offend. Try even harder not to be offended.

Be the one who redirects the conversation to the positive.

Always be fully aware of your circumstances and the consequences of your actions on those around you.

Wherever you are, be fully there.

Whoever you are, be fully them.

Ride a motorcycle, at least once in your life.

Don’t leave just one seat between you and the next party at the movie theater, church or the ballgame. (That is after the rules let up!)

Have total faith in something…God is a good first choice.

Size and significance are two very different things.

Discern another’s heart rather than judging their actions.

Strive to understand before being understood – that ‘mean’ person may have had a horrific day, or life…

Something is not nothing.

Even the most hurtful criticism has a morsel of truth in it somewhere.

Certainty does not breed faith.

Show your kids how to be awesome. Tell them they are.

Summon the courage to look silly or even foolish.

Start a journal to your child when they are born. Present it to them when they graduate.

Everything will be okay in the end. If its’ not okay, it’s not the end. (Thanks Allen Arnold!)