In Our Voices for Friday — February 17, 2006

Everyone should begin their day today by calling their mother. If not mom, then call the crazy aunt to whom you seldom speak.

If, for whatever reason, you can’t call your mother, or your family is free of crazy aunts, then hug your wife, husband, son, daughter, dog or cat.

If you have an empty home, tell your cranky neighbor who sticks his or her nose into your business too often “hello” for a change. If you have no cranky neighbor, then save that poor rooster hunkered down between the clothes dryer and the trashcan ruthlessly being bullied by another, more dominant rooster.

It is, after all, Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Here on Kaua’i, random acts of kindness are easier to come by every day of the year. But today is a great excuse to go that extra step and extend a hand or greeting or gesture that you may not normally do in your day-to-day existence.

One group in Honolulu spreads random kindness by leaving books in common areas for others to pick up and enjoy.

Others deliver blankets or food to the homeless. Still others offer to pay parking tickets issued on this day.

Here on Kaua’i, residents of Anahola, Kapa’a and Wailua are planning a beach cleanup in Kapa’a. That random act will begin at 9 a.m. at the Kapa’a Beach Park near the library. The Parks Department has offered to supply the bags for the cleaning party.

The Kapa’a group hopes the whole island will spontaneously erupt with acts of random cleanup at all public beaches and parks.

Wherever you are today, pick up a piece of litter and put it in its place.

An organizer of the Kapa’a cleanup said, in the past, her husband has mowed an elderly neighbor’s lawn on Random Acts of Kindness Day. “Just do something that comes from the heart,” she says.

For those who have to work today, offer a smile in place of an averted glance when you approach that fellow worker you can’t stand. Go ahead, ask them about their child, or tell them how nice the new hairdo looks. It may be hard to do, but today is the perfect excuse. Who knows what might come of it. And, after all, it is only one day.

Today would be a good day to tell a Kaua’i Police Department officer he or she is doing a good job. Their boss is the subject of a special meeting today, and his future is surely in question.

Some of the officers have been accused of being less than kind, but it must be hard to do their jobs in the current atmosphere.

Consider today all that county government does offer the residents of Kaua’i, despite the headaches and frustrations it also provides.

Stop at all the red lights, signal when you change lanes and for the sake of all that is sane, slow down on residential roads.

When you go home after a hard day of making kindness, recycle every last thing you can, limit your power usage and file your taxes early to be kind to yourself.

Lastly, look out your window, and realize how kind this island is to everyone every day.

After all, in the morning, it will be back to business as usual.

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