These days it seems we are craving the simple manners of being kind. Sometimes I am amazed by kindness beyond words. The kind that touches your soul and reminds you of the ways in which we thrive.

Today the pandemic, our politics, our world has caused intense emotional stressors that affect all of us. The stressors, unique and not always recognizable to a stranger, can grow quickly, but just one kind act of kindness can lower stress for both the giving and receiving individual. Yes, it is twofold. It can improve our mood and mental health to be kind.

We are all capable of acts of kindness. So capable, that we might not even recognize it. It could be something as simple as holding a door open for a stranger or a word of acknowledgment to a passerby. Large or small the act of kindness causes a chain of positive emotions.

I was reminded of a kind act most recently when an anonymous newspaper subscriber sent a card and cash to our office. Feb. 17 was National Random Act of Kindness Day and I wonder if the sender planned this.

The card, To the Editors of the Columbia Gorge News, said that they wanted to donate part of their Stimulus money to help support local news and truth.

They complimented our journalistic standards and went on to say, “I trust 'mainstream media' and appreciate that it is supporting our democracy, which is now under attack. I am so thankful that we still have a community newspaper that informs us, and helps bring us together. It would be awful not to have our newspaper. You are all appreciated!”

I hope this kind person knows we received their card and cash safely. I hope they realize how much it meant to me and my staff. It was beyond kind.

I will save the beautiful card, and these kind words to read again when I need a reminder of kindness. The cash will be used for good in our community.

Thank you.