I was reading emails from nextdoor.com today. One was a rebuke about the increase of drag racing--the commandeering of a shopping center parking lot and the disregard by drivers to policing efforts. Many neighbors joined in the lament, complete with political blaming.
The other post was from a grateful daughter. She wanted to find the stranger who stayed with her mother after she fell while at a store this past weekend. She would like to thank him for providing comfort until the ambulance arrived and let him know that her mother is healing well. Several neighbors wrote to rejoice that good Samaritans are among us. That the teeth grinding opinions that are plentiful on Nextdoor, are a facet and not the entire reflection of our corner of the county. Kindness lives!
It's conversation like the daughter's that helps me sleep, that helps drown out the negative rhetoric, if not the volume of roaring dual mufflers. Thanks is restorative. It's half of the compound holiday coming up. It's the gift that doesn't require a box or bow, just consideration.
Acts of loving kindness, such as the story shared above, reflect the Jewish value of Gemilut Hasadim – to give of yourself without receiving anything in return.