Kansas City, KS

Positive changes require active participants

CJ Coombs

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With the inception of Covid-19 in 2020, there was a lot of writing going on that year. In March 2021, The New York Times published Still Stuck at Home? It Might Be Time to Work on That Novel: Online writing groups have thrived during the pandemic, with membership fueled by more time at home and fewer to no social obligations.

And here we are into 2022. You can talk and talk, but written words are so much more effective when you want to influence positive change of any kind. Because I believe there's the power behind words, I'll be writing my way to influence positivity in a world that needs more of it.

Kindness is your friend

I like to be redundant with everything positive because, like a child who needs to be reminded to be nice, big people in their grown-up clothes need reminders too.

Be nice. Be kind. Stop judging others. Smile every single day. Repeat daily until these actions just cannot help but become a part of who you are. Published by The Mayo Clinic, The Art of Kindness, Licensed Professional Counselor Steven Siegle writes:

Kindness is more than behavior. The art of kindness means harboring a spirit of helpfulness, as well as being generous and considerate, and doing so without expecting anything in return. Kindness is a quality of being. The act of giving kindness often is simple, free, positive and healthy.

You can have a dream too

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech is the most powerful speech I have ever read or listened to, and its intent is for all time, not just to be revisited every January.

Dr. King's words are a blanket to comfort, raise, and restore people. If you have never read or listened to his speech, make the time to read it. Don't exclude yourself from powerful emotive words.

With the understanding that words in themselves can change a person's thoughts on any subject, writing to me is all about promoting positivity in words across the board. My dream is to see more and more people embrace peace, happiness, and tranquility. With these, kindness naturally follows.

For me, there is never a better time to use language to promote more kindness in the world than right now. And if you believe the language on a tee-shirt you might have, "let change begin with me," rings truth, then it's time to initiate some positive action to promote change. Maybe you've been promoting change for a long time.

Be kind by example

An act of kindness costs nothing. A kind word within a random act of kindness is free. The price? Nothing. It comes down to what you say and what you do. Spread it like gossip.

In Six Second's site, it shares 87 Ways to Be Kind and Loving, and touches on the fact that sometimes when we are frustrated, we don't always feel like being kind.

How to be kind seems simple enough. But sometimes it feels impossible to be kind and loving, don’t you think? We get so angry and frustrated at events happening in our lives that we cannot access that loving place inside of us. Instead, our eyes go from side to side as our fists clench and minds whirl with angry thoughts. Some of us even spew those thoughts out into the world with our talk and our actions.
Or sometimes we just don’t know what to do. We have a nagging feeling that we need to be doing something, but we’re just not sure what. (Source.)

This article lists 87 ideas of how you can express kindness which is a great option if you're struggling with an idea you haven't tried before.

Stimulate kindness and inclusivity through the power of language

When I was growing up as a product of what society saw as a white father and an Asian mother, it never occurred to me my parents had an interracial marriage or that my mother was "different" until I matured. I've witnessed racism towards my mother. You just can't fight negativity with negativity. At best, I can say I judge people by their actions and what's in their heart--I don't care if you go to church or not, whether you're pink or purple, whether you're from Asia, India, Africa, or Peculiar, Missouri, you get kindness from me. I see you as a human being.

Uplifting stories and articles of interest can reinforce inclusivity. Stories having a lasting positive effect help bring people together in their thinking and in their communities. I believe, though, stories and lessons teaching what is right and good in the world start from the cradle.

You don't have to be an expert to write about the value of kindness. On Annette's Bucket List Journey, she provides 75 described ideas of different random acts of kindness you can do, and writes:

Random acts of kindness can lift up anyone’s spirits, and you hold the power to make someone’s day with some small but selfless acts. How about you try some of these ideas and put on a bright smile on a few faces. (Source.)

We get too distracted by what's going on in our lives and forget about the simple random acts of kindness that we can pay forward.

Just be there

Because I don't drive to a 9 to 5 office anymore, I get to slow down. I get to stop rushing. I notice people who might need help at the store. I say hello more often. I catch up with old friends. I watch what's going on around me so I can write about it.

The next time you go through a drive-thru and the person handing you your food and taking your money is rude or crabby, ask if the day was a bad one. That usually turns the tone around and sometimes that person just needed someone to give a quick listen. Listening can be a random act of kindness and listening is "being there." Every person, including you, is loaded with feelings that are important.

Try being there at Kind Food, a 100% plant-based eating establishment in Kansas City, Kansas since 2018. Their menu looks tempting.

Try being there at Society, which states:

We want to give Kansas City a place where they can be a part of something — a larger society — a gathering place where everyone is welcome, ideas are shared, music is playing and the food and drinks are good. A society that’s rebelliously optimistic, unpretentious, art-focused, and community-oriented.

Art is showcased but it's not an art gallery. They want to be active in building a better society which includes giving back. Their current charity is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City.

Try being there at the American Jass Museum in downtown Kansas City. "Some highlights include Charlie Parker’s Grafton saxophone, a sequined gown worn by Ella Fitzgerald, and two rotating gallery spaces: the Ida McBeth Changing Gallery & the Ron Chaney Gallery." This is on my list of venues to experience because I love music and history.

You might just have a kind nature. You might be the kind of person who likes to pay it forward. You might already be contributing to your community. Positive changes can only be fulfilled with people like you.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO
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