Hello Human Kindness!
Spreading Kindness Far and Wide
The concept of paying it forward is becoming more and more widespread and one can certainly see why. Each time we hear about someone doing something extraordinary for someone they don’t even know, it is inspiring. This last holiday season, we watched the news to hear about a “Secret Santa” who was paying off layaways for perfect strangers. We also heard about giant tips being left for waitresses who were struggling to provide Christmas for their kids. The whole situation left many minds to ponder, “What can I do?” Be it large or small, many were nudged to do something, and that’s one way human kindness spreads. It also spreads when recipients of a kind act feel the desire to ‘pay it forward’ by helping someone else.
“Dignity Health has always believed that human connection helps people heal faster. Now scientists and researchers are proving this to be true.” Dignity Health’s website at HelloHumankindness.org states, “Medicine has the ability to cure, but it works better when it’s delivered with a healthy dose of human kindness.” Dignity Health shares their philosophy by spreading kindness with their nationwide campaign, Hello Humankindness. In addition to kindness’ own ability to spread, research has shown that helping or giving to others can also deliver health benefits and longevity for the giver.
We see human kindness in action every day. In Tehama County and beyond volunteers line up daily to do their jobs helping others. From local thrift shops to homeless shelters and food banks across the region, volunteers have been the heart and soul of organizations changing things for the better in their communities. There are many examples of this in each community.
In the Red Bluff community, Fire Captain Larry snell is being heralded for his many acts of human kindness. Since his recent passing, his colleagues are remembering him for the many ways he gave back to the community during the 35 years he spent with the Red Bluff Fire Department. We were told that Comrades who worked with Snell could all account for the times he had been there for each of them, on duty and off. It’s an unwritten code; we have to help each other out in a bind, but Larry was special. One colleague shared that when he was called out of town for Hurricane Katrina, a major pipe broke at his house right after leaving. When his wife called him, it was Snell that immediately responded to fix it. He added, “On another occasion, When I was to be discharged from the hospital after knee surgery, it was Larry that came to pick me up. He carried me out in his arms.”
Fire Chief Ray Barber said Snell gave back all the time, recalling how Larry helped one young man who was having a tough time. “He was enrolled in a continuation school,” Barber said, “Captain Snell took him under his wing; he changed that kids Life.”
We spoke to Larie Smith of St. Elizabeth Hospital and learned that she and Snell regularly hiked with a group. “We traveled to many places in this state and Oregon. He always drove. He was well known locally for his amazing outdoor photography which he regularly framed and donated for fundraisers like the American Cancer Society.” Dr. Chris Louisell said that people are often brought to the emergency room with the assistance of fire personnel, but he noticed Snell’s unusual level of care and concern for those patients.
Volunteering in your community or reaching out to help someone may indeed change a life, and it may change yours for the better too. Get inspired by reading more great examples of human kindness at HelloHumankindness.org. Consider volunteering at a local food bank, nursing home, hospital or other community resource if you are able.
If someone has made a difference in your life, you can also share your story at https://www.hellohumankindness.org/about-us/.