What Does Kindness Look Like During a Pandemic?
Everywhere you look, things are different. Many stores are temporary closed. Traffic is light. And more families than usual fill neighborhoods on a walk.
Another thing you see more more often: messages of kindness. From chalk art on sidewalks to lawn signs to hearts on windows.
“This brings joy to so many people,” said Margy Peterson of Champlin. “It’s giving us hope. It’s definitely giving us hope and that’s what we all need.”
In Brooklyn Park these random acts of kindness are visible in parts of the city. In one neighborhood, painted rocks can be spotted with many messages. “Smile,” “shine bright,” and “deep breath” were some of the words of inspiration.
“It pushes people to strive to be better,” said Tyler Elerbusch, a student at Champlin Park High School. “Be kind to others because you never know what people could be going through, especially with this whole epidemic and the virus.”
A couple miles away on Noble Parkway, a chalk inscription in the northbound lane read, “I LOVE YOU,” in huge capital letters.
Most people we spoke with all touched on one common theme: unity.
“We’re all in this together,” said Zachary Lawrence, another Champlin Park High School student. “There’s nothing separated. It’s just everyone is sticking up for everyone else.”
“It brings an extra boost that somebody might need,” Elerbusch said. “Somebody might have lost somebody or somebody could be going through something right now. You never really know.”
One Brooklyn Park resident named Paul, whose house is just a few feet from the Mississippi River, displays two yard signs saying, “community” and “hope.”
“The bikers and the walkers had a great response to it,” Paul said. “They would give us a thumbs up or an atta boy when they were walking by. It was nice to see.”
Paul even took things to another level. He put blue hearts and the words thank you on the inside flap of his mailbox to express gratitude to postal carriers who continue doing their routes during the pandemic.