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In a world where you can be anything, be kind

I'm home from my annual summer camp. One of my favorite experiences is when campers and counselors send each other messages of encouragement, gratitude, thanks and recognition either through our camp mail system called StarGrams or a public call out called a Hoola Hop. We celebrate a child who passed a swim test. We thank counselors for standing by us while we try something we've never done like read a poem publicly or climb a 50' alpine tower or perform a personally styled dance on roller blades to a classic Michael Jackson song.

We send messages of thanks to each other for doing a good job, for helping a child settle down, for listening while one of us is melting down. We send messages of encouragement for trying something new, for stepping into a new role or for doing what you are expected to do but doing it so well.

Later, after my week at camp was done, I visited with a 90-year-old friend of my parents -- and, now I can reasonably say, a friend of mine -- who has just landed in long-term care after a fall. We held hands and wondered how it is that we have arrived here. She at 90, me a kid in her eyes at 65. We spoke about our gratitude for the lives we've both lived, the people we've both loved and the blessing for which we both give thanks.

The common thread? Taking the time to be or do or say something kind.

That's really it. There's not much more to life when it's all said and done. In a world where you can be anything, be kind. Don't miss an opportunity to be kind, to yourself, to others. Say thank you. Say "good job!" Say, "I see you. I hear you! Well done!" Let someone know you see them. That's all.

Have a great week.

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