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Shine a little light, help catch someone being kind

Scams pour in daily. Crimes fill the front page. Complaints flow freely. Those news slots are easy to fill.

Getting people to focus on the positive is a lot more difficult.

Caught Being Kind was started to offset the negative thoughts that so easily dominate our lives and focus on the kindness that people show each other every day. But getting people to share those acts of kindness has been a harder challenge than anticipated.

The acts certainly are out there. The Parkland area has a reputation for helping others. That raises some questions. Do people not pay attention to the good? Is the negative so overpowering the good is quickly forgotten? Do readers only want to read about the “bad” and not the “good”?

A core group of readers faithfully shares the kindness they see in others. Perhaps other readers are not sure what kind acts are “worthy” of mentioning.

They all are.

Caught Being Kind is a place to point out the smallest of kind acts as well as those that make a big impact. The column provides a chance to point out good things people do that typically would not make a news story.

If you are not sure what constitutes a kind act, Oprah Winfrey offers a list of 35 thoughtful gestures that can make someone’s day. They include easy actions and common courtesies that readers probably witness each day. If you catch someone committing these acts of kindness, drop us a line or fill out a Caught Being Kind form at

Among Oprah’s suggestions:

• Take time to direct someone who is lost

• Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor, especially in bad weather

• Put a coin in an expired meter

• Bring your assistant coffee

• Send a friend flowers for no special reason

• Offer to baby-sit for a single mom

• Call or write someone who changed your life to tell them how they did

• Write a note to the boss of someone who helps you, telling the boss what a great job the person is doing

• Offer change when the person in front of you at the register comes up short

Daily Journal Managing Editor Sherry Greminger caught a man being kind this week at Casey’s on St. Joe Drive in Park Hills. A young man in front of him gave the cashier a $5 bill for what was $3.27. An older man behind him told the cashier to wait just a moment and he dug into his pocket and pulled out 27 cents in change. He told the younger man that if he didn’t break that dollar bill it would last a little longer.

Greminger complimented the man and said she had not seen anyone doing that in a long time. “It just made me smile,” she said.

These are just a few of the many ways Parkland folks are kind each day. When you catch someone being kind, let us know.

The Daily Journal challenges you to look for kind acts and share them with us for publication. Your stories may be submitted online by going to and clicking on Act of Kindness link. Or, you may report them to Paula Barr at or 573-431-2010 ext. 172.

Caught Being Kind will be published each Friday in the Daily Journal.

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