Story time with Tony –
Over 6 years ago on a sunny day in Siouxland, I ran into a stranger in a very cloudy mood. It happened outside the entrance of Barnes and Noble at the Southern Hills Mall. My son accidentally bumped into a lady leaving the store. Trey is non-verbal and so I apologized to her for the bump. She told me that was “the rudest thing she has ever seen”. I took a deep breath, smiled and explained to her that he has autism and he doesn’t totally understand personal spacing some times but we are working on that and apologized again.
She doubled down and said I was a bad parent and he shouldn’t be so rude.
Let’s just say it spiraled south after that.
I collected my thoughts when I returned to my Jeep and posted something on Facebook about doing something nice and kind today to spread love and joy. Don’t let negativity win. Social media has its faults, but that post went viral. I like to think some good was sparked from a very dark origin story at the mall that day.
Shortly after, South Sioux City school district started “Spread Kindness Week”. This is now their fifth year and it has really grown with every calendar year through challenges, adversity and many reasons to be in a bad mood.
When you choose kindness, something amazing happens. It’s contagious. Isn’t it better to spread a good mood than a sour one?
I think about that lady from all those years ago at the mall. I hope her day turned around and she is in a better emotional place today. Maybe she learned about autism and compassion. Hopefully, she knows someone at Lewis and Clark Elementary. I spoke to Erica Bowman and Ben Schultz this morning on KSUX 105.7 about their efforts with Burger King and Dakota Perk in raising money for the Honor Flight for Veterans in Siouxland.
It was a bit of a full circle moment for me..and for those in our society like my son who need an advocate.
Nefarious activity often leads the news headlines. Compassion and kindness is a good way to lead your life.
Thanks for reading.
Go spread some kindness. You never know who it may reach.