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Be kind, be aware in 2019

Kindness has been apparent from strangers and friends alike following the July 19, 2018 tornado. Without judgement and many times without being asked, people jumped in to help. It’s that spirt that helps make a community great for all.

In 2019, we need to carry on that spirit with all our interactions.

It’s impossible for us to know what someone may be dealing with. A stranger may be facing domestic violence, financial struggles or addiction without our knowledge. Even those we are closest to may be battling mental health issues that we’re unaware of.

If we can all act with kindness toward one another, we will be better off.

Some people may be willing to share what’s happening in their lives and how it’s affecting them. However, a number of people will not be so open. It’s safe to assume that everyone carries some burden in their lives that we don’t know about. If we have this mindset, it implores us to act with love toward one another.

It’s also safe to assume we don’t know what someone is going through. Stress is relative. Every individual has different life experiences and circumstances which may make one situation entirely different for two different people. Always be willing to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

And in a community as diverse as Marshalltown, it’s important to embrace difference rather than use it as a means for prejudice. We should acknowledge our own biases so that we can allow kindness to win.

In order to show this kindness to others, we also have to be kind to ourselves. If we don’t work on loving who we are, bettering ourselves and providing nourishment through self care, we cannot begin to give others what they need.

By showing kindness, telling our loved ones we care about them, appreciating our colleagues, taking care of ourselves and working toward the common good, 2019 will be a great year.