Seeking ideas for simple acts of kindness

David Peck

A few weeks ago, a Lovell Chronicle column caught the eye of a faithful reader. The Thanksgiving Week column asked whether we, as a nation, are grateful and in a frame of mind to give thanks.
Though we live in the greatest nation on earth, with boundless blessings, freedoms and advantages, we sometimes would rather complain about things – and each other – than simply appreciating the many blessings in our lives, the column posited.
The column urged readers to give thanks that they live in Wyoming with our great quality of life, turn down the bitter discourse we fall into and practice tolerance and respect.
That piece got reader Ron McClure to thinking. He said he enjoyed the column and said that he, too, is thankful every day that he lives in Wyoming. Then he suggested a weekly column devoted to eliminating hate, which could be written each week by a different staff member or a person from the community.
The writer’s task could be to suggest just one simple thing that any one of us could do in the week ahead to make someone else smile or just reflect on the positive benefits of living in Wyoming and America.
Given that many people aren’t comfortable with writing, the key word for this idea, Ron said, is “small” – simple things people can do to brighten the day of others. His examples included leaving a small, anonymous treat inside someone’s mailbox with a note saying, “From a friend,” making a small donation to the Lovell Food Pantry or anonymously purchasing lunch tickets to be given away at the senior citizens center.
Ron said he tried to think of things that anyone could do, but he added that several hundred heads (readers) could produce several hundred ideas.
We think it’s a great idea, and we’ll be happy to provide a dedicated space in each edition of the newspaper to spread the word. We could call it Positive Thoughts or something like that.
As Ron put it, the idea is that, if every person tried to do one simple act of kindness each week, our community couldn’t help but be a better place in which to live. And if everyone in America followed suit, the current national trend of hate and bitterness might disappear.
That’s a tall task, but here in North Big Horn County, some positive suggestions might just make a difference, and if nothing else, some simple acts of kindness would make the day better, both for those who receive them and those who give them.
Sound Pollyanna? Perhaps. But even a little thing can make a big difference. All we need are ideas and the willingness to carry them out, one act at a time.
Ron pointed out that people might not want their name attached to their submitted suggestions, but we would prefer that names be used. Our letters to the editor policy requires names on letters, and we’d like to see names attached to the “positive thoughts” submissions, too.
Pastor and author Norman Vincent Peale famously wrote the book “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Think of this as the power of positive acts of kindness.
We’re happy to provide the space. If readers have an idea for a way to brighten someone’s day or even to express gratitude or appreciation, email us at
Perhaps we can join together to change our community one random act of kindness at a time.
--David Peck