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Tags: churchhill | nazi | virus | covid

During Pandemic, Kindness and Generosity Worth Catching

thank you first responders

(Felix Mizioznikov/Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 May 2020 03:10 PM EDT

News headlines and constant social media updates about COVID-19 provoke fear and anxiety in the hearts of many. And as we have seen, these two emotions can be just as contagious as a virus.

They spread quickly from person to person, resulting in mass panic.

Yet, kindness and generosity are also contagious. One kind or generous act has the potential to prompt another — it’s the "pay it forward effect."

From entire communities coming together to throw birthday parades, to the woman who trained her dog to deliver groceries to vulnerable seniors, people have become creative when it comes to showing kindness.

And I believe this could be our finest hour.

I’m sure you recognize those famous words from Winston Churchill. Just six weeks into office as Britain’s prime minister and threatened with a Nazi invasion, he gave what is still considered today to be one of the greatest speeches ever delivered, on June 18, 1940, before the British House of Commons: "Let us therefore brace ourselves to do our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for 1,000 years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'"

Just like generations before, I believe our story will be told and history will remember us by our actions in these days of our own global crisis by what we choose to do.

Today, I encourage you to do three things to spread kindness and generosity to those around you:

1. Be Mindful of Others

It’s natural for us to want to stay inside, keep to ourselves, and protect our families. But we must not let fear keep us from thinking of the most vulnerable among us: the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and the unemployed who have no safety net to fall back on.

One group that is too often overlooked is the homeless. When it comes to finding ways to stay safe, wash their hands, and shelter in place, no one has a harder time than the homeless population.

“Everything is shut down,” said Juan Galloway, who recently helped distribute hygiene kits in New York City. “All the places where the homeless go for help or just to rest — whether it’s a library or a restaurant—are all shut down. At the same time, there’s a lot of sick people in the shelters spreading the disease to each other.” So he said the simple kit of soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, and other hygiene items was a much-welcomed gift for those with little way of protecting themselves from the virus.

No doubt there are similar opportunities for you to help those around you. You just have to keep your eyes open. Have an elderly neighbor you notice hasn’t been out of the house in a while? Check and see if they need anything. Were you lucky enough to find a store stocked with hand sanitizer?

Grab a second bottle to give to someone in need.

2. Set Aside Your Differences

Now is not the time for arguments — now is the time for action.

Our organization, World Help, works in many countries around the globe. Recently, we have received reports of people from all different faith backgrounds working together for the first time in light of this crisis. In one country, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists are laboring side-by-side to distribute food during the lockdown. This is historic.

For one of very few times in history, everyone on earth is fighting the same enemy. We have a common goal, and we can’t waste this unique opportunity.

I’m sure you, like me, have felt anxiety and fear as you’ve witnessed grocery stores running out of basic supplies like toilet paper and paper towels because people panic-bought these items like it was the end of the world. Maybe you’ve even seen a fight break out over the last container of antibacterial wipes. That’s what fear can do to us. Our fears can divide us, but I believe our compassion is what will unite us.

So who can you encourage or reach out to today, despite your difference in race, faith, or creed? What part can you play in this global fight to help a hurting world?

3. Give to Help Someone in Need

A few years ago, a boy in Uganda shared his story with me. His name was Elias. He talked about how so many people in his community were going hungry and literally starving to death. He said he and his friends were suffering from hunger-related illnesses and were failing in school because they could only focus on their empty stomachs.

I’ll never forget Elias’ words after we were able to give him and his friends the food they needed. "You have made our story different from other youths in Uganda."

I love that phrase because that’s what generosity is all about — changing stories, giving second chances, delivering help and hope.

Today, countless people are starving like Elias once was.

The coronavirus pandemic could cause an additional 130 million people to face acute hunger by the end of this year, according to news reports. "We could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months," one U.N. official said.

So my final challenge to you is to extend your generosity beyond your community.

Right now is a difficult economic time for all of us, but if you are able to give and provide aid to people globally, your sacrifice could help save a life.

We don’t know what the future holds. But in this time of crisis, we must replace fear and anxiety with kindness and generosity — two emotions that are worth catching.

Noel Yeatts is an active advocate for social justice and humanitarian needs around the world. With over 20 years of experience in humanitarian work, Noel is an author, speaker, and the President of World Help, an international, Christian humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of impoverished communities around the world. Noel regularly takes the stage for speaking engagements and advocacy events around the country and has been widely recognized for her groundbreaking book, "Awake: Doing a World of Good One Person at a Time." Read Noel Yeatt's Reports — More Here

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We don’t know what the future holds. But in this time of crisis, we must replace fear and anxiety with kindness and generosity - two emotions that are worth catching.
churchhill, nazi, virus, covid
Tuesday, 05 May 2020 03:10 PM
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