On Sunday, I went for a run with a friend in Forest Park, here in Portland, OR. The trailhead was crowded with vehicles on this sunny morning. We started to see hikers and runners as we ran and I noticed something as we passed one another.
We said hello more assertively, we held eye contact more directly and smiled a little more than usual for strangers on a trail. It was an acknowledgment of what we are facing together and because of it, we felt a little closer. These individuals who I came across were no longer just people using the park but members of my community.
There has never been a moment in our lifetime where the whole entire world is in a crisis together. While we face these challenges there is already a unity that seems to be playing out.
The videos of people in Italy singing from their balconies, hearing about those offering to do shopping for their at risk neighbors and others donating to those who can't afford to pay bills, is absolutely beautiful right now.
It appears that difficult times are here for at least the near future. Our hospitals may be in an extreme situation dealing with more patients than they can handle as we are seeing in Italy. Our livelihood is being shaken. Our jobs and businesses may be on hold along with our income. However, in most cases there are others who are affected by this far worse than we are. Those people will need assistance from their community.
So what can we do?
I just stumbled upon a podcast episode featuring a story about Tom Hanks. It talks about his kindness and the author offered a beautiful quote that was very encouraging to me.
She said, “contagion is real, but it doesn’t just work for viruses. It works for kind words and generous thoughts, and acts of selflessness and honestly.” - Taffy Brodesser-Akner, a magazine writer at the New York Times.
Think local acts of kindness.
Offer help to our neighbors. The closest community is the one right outside our front door and our neighbors may need help. We don’t know who is at risk just by looking at someone. It is not just the elderly. There are young people with conditions unknown to us that may need assistance. Drop off your phone number to any neighbors to offer your support so that they are able to reach out to you.
Stay informed on local efforts
Sign up for newsletters for neighborhood organizations and volunteer opportunities so that you can help where needed.
Donate money to local food banks.
Connect. If there ever was a time for social media this is it. Call loved ones and catch up with friends and family who you have been meaning to reach out to. A lot of us will be at home and in need of social interaction. Utilize facetime, skype and organize google hangouts with your friends and family.
Share stories of kindness
If you know of a story of even a small act of kindness that you saw recently please share it with us. We would love to interview you about it and share it with our entire community. You can share it with me at Brett@territoryrun.co or you can share it right here in the comments below.
I wish you, your family and friends the best during this challenging time.
All the best,
Founder of Territory Run