The Kindness of Others

On Monday–around noon–I got my nomination papers for the elected position of Library Trustee. It’s a position I held for four years some time ago and a role in town government I truly enjoyed. I was told to get at least forty-two signatures. Forty-two is a rationally related number to the total of registered voters in town. I think it might be two percent. In fewer than thirty-six hours, I had fifty townspeople who had signed on the line with a smile.

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Last night as I gathered the last few, I was welcomed into two homes of people I know to be Republican leaning. This occurred simultaneously with the primary election returns and a concession speech being broadcast. We spoke a bit about national politics–sort of unavoidable–in the most civil and thoughtful of terms–sort of surprising.

We shared a dismay and a disappointment. All of us wondered how the choices we’ve been offered are all so flawed. While we’d differ on how each candidate is not “the best of America,” the commiseration was real.

And yet, here they were signing my nomination papers for Library Trustee fully aware of my liberal leanings. With all of the rancor and mud-slinging on the national scale, how nice it is to feel the encouragement from others–including Republicans–to “get involved.”

We should all contribute a piece of ourselves to those with whom we share a zip code. Whether it’s running for public office, coaching a team, volunteering in the classroom, or smiling at fellow customers in line at the post office.

We all can practice kindness. What better place to start than “home.”





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