Kindness Changes the Way You See

One of the great lessons cancer taught me was the importance of getting my thought-life in order. There are way too many things in this world that could go wrong. If we allow ourselves to think whatever thought pops into … Read more

Pizza Pizza Served with a Side of Kindness

“Whoa! People work this early in the morning?” That was my first-grade son’s reaction as we passed a garbage truck recently at 5:30 a.m. We were heading out on a family vacation. The men in the truck were hustling in … Read more

Kindness Fills Memory of Flood Survivor

Twenty years ago this month, people along the Red River in Minnesota, North Dakota and Southern Manitoba experienced the worst flood of the area since 1826. Homes and businesses were destroyed. Lives were swept up in a torrent of emotional … Read more

Returning to the Place I Found Kindness

At this very moment, if all has gone well, I am on an airplane with my three children heading back to Fargo. It was the kindness of an event planner who first gave the idea wings, and the kindness of … Read more

Sweet Ways to Show Kindness

I was at a Weight Watchers meeting this morning. Don’t ask. The wheels fall off the bus pretty quickly when you live in a family who loves to celebrate track meets, baseball games and good grades with ice cream. Easter … Read more

Kindness is the Most Important Muscle

I didn’t think time travel was possible until I was sitting at a track meet the other night. It was my daughter’s very first meet. I thought it would be my very first meet too. I was told ahead of … Read more

Everything Changes When Kindness Enters the Room

How is it that things can look so drastically different based on our ever-changing outlook? Like the little park bench that’s tucked along a pebble path and surrounded by colorful blossoms. It looks so quaint and inviting, until that becomes … Read more

Kindness Replaces Some of the Madness in March

A whole new language arises during the month of March in the house of a college basketball coach. We use words like “seed” and “bracket” in daily conversation, but even more curious, in my house at least, is the way … Read more

Netflix Series Sparks Ideas for Kindness

A strange thing is happening. The kids are fed, the dishes are done (sort of) and the couch begins calling my name. Actually, it’s not the couch that’s drawing me in, it’s the television. Ahhh, Netflix. I’ve always admired the … Read more

Dealing with Difficult People is Easier with Kindness

Remember the old National Enquirer magazine commercials? “Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know.” I talk about the health benefits of giving and how awkward situations can be smoothed out with kindness, but the more opportunities I have … Read more

Kindness Isn’t About Them, It’s About You

My husband has banned me from Amazon. Not for shopping. For reading book reviews. Specifically, my book reviews. I wrote a book and because it was about kindness, I assumed everyone would love it. So when someone left me a … Read more

Kindness Leaves You with Lots to Talk About

I imagine, one day, when they’re very old and can’t get around quite as well as they do now, Gene Hanson and Darlene Jackson Hanson will sit next to each other and say, “Do you remember when…?” Only there is … Read more

Kindness in the Benefit of the Doubt

Have you ever been driving down the street, carefully obeying the rules of the road, when all of a sudden someone cuts you off? You’re forced to hit the brakes because some madman is either driving like a bat out … Read more

Kindness in Quiet Bags and Batman Bandaids

I’m afraid I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have small children. How is that even possible? My kids are 12, 11 and 6. It’s not like they’re adults. They are definitely still in need of guidance and discipline, but life … Read more

Be the Good

What do you want to be when you grow up? I sure hope you’re not one of those people who thinks they are already too old to decide. Isn’t that what the new year is for? New beginnings? I see … Read more

Teacher Creates Classroom of Givers

My friend was telling me a story about her son who is a freshman in college. He noticed a peer consistently walking to class without a coat. So he gave him his own. No fanfare. No conversation or touching exchange … Read more

Our Book is Ready

I’m rocking back and forth, tossing actually, like a woman on a boat bracing herself before the next wave sends the entire contents shifting across the deck. There is a storm happening in my head. I know I’m blowing it … Read more

Kindness Helps Us See More Clearly

You know what I love about this time of year? The Hallmark Channel. I can sit for hours watching cheesy holiday movies. They usually involve some small town charm and an act of kindness that probably wouldn’t ever happen in … Read more

Hunger and Kindness Lead to New Friendship

More often than not, when we do random acts of kindness, we never hear about it again. We don’t ever truly know the impact it made on the other person. We just have to trust that kindness worked whatever magic … Read more

Kindness Overpowers Fear

When I was a freshman in college, I had a stalker. Several of my friends were at a fast food restaurant near the University of Wisconsin campus when they saw a man sitting at a table with huge photos of … Read more

Kindness Reminds Us We Have Enough

For most of my adulthood, I have mistakenly believed that kindness flows from the excess in my life. I have extra money, I can throw a little in the jar. I have extra time, I can offer to take a … Read more

Kindness Gets the Feel-Good Chemicals Flowing

Whatever you look for is what you’ll see. Don’t believe me? Think about your ex: ex-husband, ex-boyfriend, ex-wife. Since I’m a woman and I’m the one writing this, let’s pick on the men for a moment. When you first met … Read more

Kindness Brings Joy in Times of Pain

They say when it rains, it pours. That can be true in trials, but in my life, I’ve found that it’s also true in kindness. In times of trouble, the smallest act of love is amplified. A note in the … Read more

ThinkGive Challenge Promotes Kindness

When I was a child, my biggest social challenge was learning to speak politely on the phone. I never had to deal with the permanency that seems to accompany every email, text message or Instagram photo sent through the World … Read more

Kindness Happens Even at the Ryder Cup

As a basketball coach’s wife, there are certain away games that I’ve learned to watch on television. Sure, they’re within driving distance, but I learned long ago to listen when my husband says “You might not like this one.” It’s … Read more

Using Kindness to Make Up for Lost Time

I’m a sucker for a romantic story. I’ll tell anyone who will listen that I fell in love with my husband when I was in sixth grade. True, he wouldn’t date me until I was 24, but that just adds … Read more

Kindness Makes the Best First Day Ever

Some of the most amazing teachers don’t ever get to stand up in front of the class. They don’t get to use the staff lounge or open gifts of appreciation at the end of the year. They are teachers who … Read more

Kindness Eases Growing Pains

My little girl’s shoulders slumped as she got in the minivan. “The whole team was invited, Mom. I was the only one not included.” Seventh grade is hard. I know, I did it once. I’d go from elation to desperation … Read more

Why I Agree to Be Uncomfortable for Kindness

Why do I do this to myself? I could have said no. Why didn’t I say no? They’re going to eat me alive! My introverted self is verbally attacking the ambitious dynamo part of my personality. You see, go-getter me … Read more

The Power of One Kind Word

We were wrong. As children we stuck our tongues out at the playground bully and hollered with a fake bravado, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” We were wrong. Wikipedia tells me this … Read more

Kindness Found in Bathrooms and Backseats

There are certain conversations I’m sure God never intended us to have with each other. Like in high school, when my poor dad seemed to pale a little every time I asked him for money for bras or tampons. That’s … Read more

Rummage Sale Cash & Kindness Come in Handy

Red and blue lights whirled in my rearview mirror. Uh oh. Someone was in big trouble. I turned the corner and drove another block before the police car came up behind me. I pulled over to allow the officer room … Read more

Grab Kindness Before it Flies By

I was trying to fly home from New York earlier this month. I say “trying” because it was evident that it was going to take some effort. A big storm had swept through the day before and grounded most of … Read more

Nurses Fill Painful Road with Kindness

“This needs sugar!” a woman barks from the table behind me. A nurse gently tells for the 10th time, “I already put sugar on it for you, Alice.” “Well it doesn’t taste like it!” her surly charge growls. “Help! Help! … Read more

Kindness & Gas Money Rescue the Empty

When the world is closing in on you, and panic and uncertainty threaten to swallow you whole, kindness takes on a new level of importance. An otherwise small gesture of love becomes magnified and gives us the strength to put … Read more

Courageous Kindness Combats Selfishness

Photo Credit: syracuse.com, Chloe Aftel

The bad thing about striving to live a life of kindness is that you realize when you fail. And you fail every day. Or maybe I should say, I fail every day. The minute I keep the conversation trivial to avoid … Read more

Birthday Kindness Comes in a Box

I remember having two birthday parties as a kid. My family lived on a little farmette with horses, and my dad had a friend who was a clown (doesn’t everyone’s dad have a friend who is a clown?), so when … Read more

Airman Saves Life with Kidney Donation

Life can change in an instant. One moment you’re young and in love and planning a wedding, and the next, you’re sitting in a hospital room trying to decipher medical jargon and test results. That’s how it went for Aly … Read more

Start Saying Yes to Kindness

I want to share a story with you, and then I want to share a story with you. The way they work together in one woman’s life is breathtaking and contains a lesson for all of us. Here’s story No. … Read more

The Charming Effects of Kindness

About six years ago, I met a woman who changed my life. Her name is Cris Linnares and just for the record, she happens to be married to the man who publishes this column. I didn’t know that when I … Read more

Where Does Kindness End?

I’m just the lady who writes about kindness. That’s it. I’m not a social worker, educator or social activist. Yet, I’m often called to help in situations in which I feel totally helpless. I was in school the other day … Read more

Calming Anxiety with Kindness

We’re coming upon a season of great celebration. My mailbox is full of pictures of fresh young faces excited to begin a new chapter of life. You can see by the twinkle in their eyes that they are looking forward … Read more

Kindness Beats Bullying

I was sitting in my basement a few weeks ago with tears streaming down my face. The room was dark except for the glow of the television. It was a Saturday night and I was four days out from my … Read more

Saying Goodbye to My Kindergartners

If I don’t write this down, I know I’ll forget it. I don’t want to forget. I want to remember Tuesday for the rest of my life. Tuesday was the day I went into my son’s kindergarten class for the … Read more

Join the KIND Movement

Quite a few months ago, I got a little black box in the mail. On the front, in simple letters, it said, “How kind of you.” I hadn’t done anything particularly nice that I could remember, so I couldn’t imagine … Read more

Kindness Ninja Starts School Revolution

Brian Williams was supposed to be a high-powered, highly paid businessman. In college, he was ranked as the top business student in the country, as in the entire United States. Only, when he got out into the real world, he found he … Read more

A Vision of Kindness

Imagine waking up Monday morning, ready for the work commute, but instead of sliding into your car, you slid into a pair of sneakers? You would walk out your front door and be greeted by everyone else in the neighborhood … Read more

We Are All Human

I ordered chicken tenders at the pool last summer for my kids. We are clearly not foodies (or we wouldn’t have ordered chicken tenders in the first place), but this meal was inedible. The poor little freezer-burned then overcooked nuggets … Read more

Only Kindness Matters

I have a picture on my office wall that says, “Kindness Matters.” The coffee cup on my desk reminds me to “Be Kind.” I’m naturally drawn to things that revolve around kindness, whether it’s artwork or the latest academic research. … Read more

Signs of Kindness From Above

My friend, Ann, finds pennies in the strangest places. She even found one in the tiny skull skeleton of a squirrel in her yard. Skull skeleton of a squirrel—try saying that 10 times fast. I’m sure I wrinkled my nose … Read more

Kindness and Cellphones to the Rescue

I’m about to share one of my not-so-great parenting moments. I’m pretty sure I’m at fault, but I refuse to ask the experts because I’m afraid of the verbal lashing I’ll get. Luckily, the kindness and common sense of a … Read more

Teaching Kids to Feel Kindness

In a little town that doesn’t get much press is a woman who quietly goes about the task of teaching kids. Pamela Wiese is a truancy officer and paraprofessional at a school in Henning, Minn., a town of about 800 … Read more

Creating Kinder Thinking

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I’ve been thinking about. I don’t know if this is the case for you, but my mind can follow a squirrel or bright shiny object into the next dimension in no time … Read more

Kindness in a Kidney

What’s the furthest you would go for kindness? Do you even know? Maybe you’ll give your time, but not your money. Maybe you’ll give your money, but not your time. Maybe you’ll give your time and money as long as … Read more

Kindness Steps Up for Broken Back

I love the way people look at me when I mention all the blessings that we experienced during my bout with breast cancer this past summer. The love I felt from friends, strangers and even my own family far surpassed … Read more

Miles and Miles of Kindness

There are certain things that will never be on my bucket list. Skydiving. Every person I’ve ever known who has done it loves it. I’m not buying. Alligator wrestling. I’ve never met anyone who has done this, and there is … Read more

Be a Silver Lining

A friend gave me a beautiful bracelet engraved with an interesting phrase. It says, “Be a silver lining.” Not “Be the silver lining,” but “Be a silver lining.” I love that. It takes the pressure off when you realize you don’t have to be … Read more

Let Down Your Guard for Kindness

A man knocked on my door during the last snowstorm. It was 8 o’clock at night and I was home alone with the kids. We were all snuggled on the couch in our jammies waiting for bedtime when I heard … Read more

Choose to React with Kindness

Moments of crisis require a decision: Will we hold our tongue and act with grace toward those around us, or will we allow our angst to overtake our mouth and spew out the fear that certainly feels like a natural … Read more

Replacing Jealousy with Gratitude

I have a problem with other people’s successes. There, I said it. It’s out in the light. Take it away, God. Rip this pride and jealousy and ego and selfishness out of my life from the roots. It has no … Read more

Looks Can Be Deceiving, Be Kind Anyway

I got a fun letter over the Christmas break from a college student who was perhaps misidentified. Jared Nash is from Galchutt, N.D., a little community near Wahpeton, where I imagine everybody knows your name. He had an interesting encounter … Read more

Be Kind to Yourself First

I wish I could bring you into my son’s kindergarten classroom. It’s a happy, colorful place where little people are learning big things, like how to read and count to 100, and lead with kindness. They are learning those things … Read more

The Kindness of Giving

One of the best things about having three kids in elementary school is that I get to spend a lot of time as a fly on the wall. Some people call it “volunteering,” but I call it “pretending to work … Read more

Do Kindness Well

Jeremiah Solhjem has had a big life of building tall towers and defeating shifty robbers thanks to his vivid imagination and the 9-year-old’s love of Legos. I’m sure he’s playing right now as I write this, but we can no … Read more

Picture Kindness in Your Life

My days seem to fly past so quickly that by the time I lay my head down at night I can’t remember what I had for breakfast that morning. Pretty scary since I always eat the same thing for breakfast. … Read more

Thanksgiving Kindness for Big Momma

Big Momma told me to write this. And what Big Momma says, goes. Big Momma has a real name, it’s Barb Wohlwend. I think she got her nickname from her daughter, Amanda Lea, who is a Fargo-Moorhead radio personality on … Read more

The House that $5 Built

Someone somewhere right this second wants the very best for you. How do I know? Because it’s me. I want to know that life feels warm and full to you. Full of love, full of gratitude and full of Thanksgiving … Read more

Choose Kindness Even Without the Applause

My daughter asked me a question the other day that on the surface seemed kind of childish and selfish. Yet, it’s something that, even as an adult, I still wrestle with in my mind and in my heart. She said, … Read more

Use Kindness to Find Meaning

Do you ever wonder why you’re here? I know I do. People need purpose. I’m at my best when my gifts and talents are being put to good use; when I’m on the right track. I’m guessing I’m not the … Read more

My Daughter Fights Cancer with Kindness

I know a little girl whose momma had breast cancer this summer. As soon as the diagnosis was announced, that young lady, though she was just 11, set out to do whatever she could to spread kindness throughout the house. … Read more

Be Kind by Choosing Compassion

I find it interesting that we teach our children the importance of using manners and being kind and standing up for others, but sometimes we as adults fail in our own actions and words. I’m as guilty as the next … Read more

Listen to the Little Voice in Your Head

I let an opportunity for kindness pass me by, and I still regret it. I was at a restaurant when the server mentioned that she liked my necklace. A quiet voice in the back of my mind was nudging me … Read more

Using Your ‘In’ for Kindness

Allow me to step back in time just a bit as I lead into this story on kindness. It was May 2014: After 10 years in Fargo, my husband accepted a job taking us to Ohio. We made the emotional … Read more

Be Kind Like Mister Rogers

I am cancer-free! My husband and I wistfully joke that someday we’ll look back and say, “Remember that summer I had breast cancer?” It’ll be just one more little chapter in the story of our lives. I’m still going through … Read more

Kindness Can Be a Sweet Business

I love sugar. It may not be healthy, but it’s true. I love sugar almost as much as I love kindness. Beth Delgado is a businesswoman in Grand Forks who clearly shares my heart. She’s making it her business to … Read more

Back-to-School Rush Can’t Stop Kindness

There must be something in the water, or maybe back-to-school time brings out the best in people. Whatever the case, I’ve gotten to hear lots of great stories lately that I want to share with you. Like this one from … Read more

Kindness is Not Put on Hold

I was speaking at an event recently when a woman raised her hand and asked me, “Have you found that kindness truly is contagious?” What a great question. The answer I gave her was a resounding “Yes!” but I struggled … Read more

Fighting Cancer with Kindness

I’ve held the belief for a while now that if you truly want to be happy and feel fulfilled, you have to get your mind off yourself and onto the needs of others. Constant introspection makes your problems bigger, your … Read more

Be Kind Enough to Say I’m Sorry

I had to apologize to my neighbor for being so crabby to her and her grandchildren. We all went to a party at the community center, and I was off. Way off. Nothing was right. I should have been quarantined … Read more

Say ‘Yes’ to Kindness

I remember Saul talking to the children earlier this month. It was about two weeks before my July 14 mastectomy. Our three kids were acting like kids sometimes act in the middle of summer: squirrely. They were fighting with each … Read more

Don’t Let Kindness Skate Past You

Isn’t it interesting how easily your day can be interrupted? You wake up in the morning with big plans, and your day is laid out perfectly. Sometimes the plans are fun and sometimes they are mundane, but inevitably, they are … Read more

Kids Get a Shout Out for Kindness

Kindness is a big deal in our house. It’s cause for celebration. We don’t have confetti or banners or balloons that drop from the ceiling, but my kids know they’re going to get a big hug and see absolute joy … Read more

Give Yourself and Others Some Grace

I don’t even care that I have breast cancer right now. I really don’t. Do you know what I’m distraught about? I’m grieved that the parents of two Park Christian students had to bury their sons this week. I’m grieved … Read more

Being Kind Doesn’t Have to Make Sense

Just after moving to Ohio, I did something really weird. I was standing in line at the tiny neighborhood grocery store when a man came up behind me with a case of beer. He had to hold it because my … Read more

Spreading Kindness Through Peace Corps

Mark this down: At age 11, my daughter, Jordan, has decided to become a missionary. Unfortunately for Jordan, her parents have not, so she will have to hit the pause button on that dream for a few more years. Jordan’s … Read more

Kindness Comes to the Rosebud Reservation

“No more homework! No more books! No more teachers’ dirty looks!” With apologies to all of my teacher friends out there, does anyone else remember singing this song on the last day of school? I have very vivid memories of … Read more

Unseen Sacrifices Count as Kindness

I got invited to a new friend’s house for dinner the other day. She has boys the same age as my 5-year-old son, Ben. Twin boys. Yikes. Anyway, the boys are truly delightful and have all become fast friends in … Read more

Kindness isn’t about the Money

I used to think kindness was all about the money. Boy was I wrong. Anyone can walk by a beggar on the street and throw some coins in a can. But the person who stops, kneels down, looks that beggar … Read more

Challenge Yourself to Kindness

There is a woman in California who may love kindness even more than I do. I know, it’s shocking. Her name is Marla and I’m thinking of road-tripping to sunny California to see if it’s true. I may even be … Read more

Kindness Says Happy Birthday Best

I’m turning the big 4-0 this week. When I was a kid, 40 sounded so old, but now that I’m here, I have to say I would never want to go back to being 20 or 30. My skin may … Read more

Kindness Reveals True Beauty

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I only have about 500 words to work with, so let’s hope that’s enough to draw a picture. I saw a video online that I can’t get out of my … Read more

Running with Purpose and Kindness

A few Saturdays ago, I wrote about my attempt to take my own life during my teenage years and the kindness found at that time in an Easter basket. It always hurts to go back and relive a period of … Read more

Moving Kindness

Being a coach’s wife has its perks. I got to take my kids to the NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournament this past weekend in Indianapolis. For most people, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For the Phillips kids, it’s part of … Read more

Kindness in an Easter Basket

The Easter Bunny stopped showing up at my house around the time my parents got divorced. Come to think about it, Santa stopped showing up around then, too. I suppose it’s no great tragedy. I was in third grade or … Read more

The Kindness of Mrs. Johnson Lives On

Every once in a while, a person comes into your life just for a season. We’d like it to be longer, but the gift we were given has an expiration date, and for one reason or another, the time comes … Read more

Kindness Abounds Through Cancer Journey

I am so sick of cancer. I am sure for many of you, that is the understatement of the century, but it pretty well describes how I’m feeling right now. I just found out that cancer is messing with yet … Read more

Kindness & Car Troubles

I hit a car the other day. I was attempting to parallel park, and somehow the gray of my minivan ended up on the side bumper of the other person’s tan car. I was devastated, and mortified since it happened … Read more

Shovel a Path of Kindness

People in Ohio keep asking me what winter is like in North Dakota. They want to know how many days a year school gets called off due to cold weather. I tell them, “Hardly ever.” They want to know how … Read more

Missing Money Begins Chain of Kindness

I remember when I first read the book, “How Fargo of You” by Marc de Celle. I was captivated by the stories of kindness weaved through this man’s everyday life as he moved his family from sunny Arizona to our … Read more

Kindness Both Courageous and Contagious

My dad is a deep thinker. He spent most of his life as a therapist, so he’s a pretty good listener, too. He can be engaged in a conversation and then spend several days, if not weeks, thinking about the … Read more

Taking the Extra Step Eases the Burden

I say that I’m grateful for my health and the health of my family. I say that I’m grateful for the food that makes its way to our table. But maybe I’m not. Health and nourishment have always come easy. … Read more

Friends Don’t Need to Ask for Kindness

The strange yet obvious thing about moving to a new town is that nobody knows you. When I moved to Fargo 10 years ago, I felt like I had moved to the “Twilight Zone.” Never before in my life had … Read more

Face of Kindness Takes Many Forms

I was walking down the street with my 4-year-old son this fall when we came upon a young woman with a heavy limp using a cane. As we approached her from behind, I could see his interest piqued and braced … Read more

Kindness Makes the Old New Again

Now that Christmas and New Year’s festivities are finished, most of us just want to move on to spring. Me too, but may I share my favorite memory from this past holiday season? It has to do with a certain … Read more

Kindness Thaws Frozen Boots

I want to teach my kids two things before I die: 1) the importance of being kind; and 2) the value of a dollar. I want to teach them lots of other lessons, too, like how to drive a car … Read more

Santa Brings Gift of Kindness

I look forward to getting out the Christmas decorations each year and lovingly placing them throughout the house. I usually pull out the boxes and turn on the Christmas music the day after Halloween, but this year I held off … Read more

Job Seeker Finds Big Kindness on Facebook

Sometimes social media is nasty. I mean really, truly, ruin-a-person’s-day nasty. It gives people the opportunity to say whatever they want with little, if any, filter. Some people need excitement in their lives, so they try to “stir the pot” … Read more

Season of Thanksgiving Unlocks Kindness

The other night I put my kids to bed an hour and a half before their regular bedtime so I could sit on the couch, eat Ben & Jerry’s and watch a Hallmark Christmas movie alone in silence. I’m not … Read more

Friendship and Kindness Can Cure Anything

It’s been six months since the moving truck pulled out of my driveway in north Fargo and made the 16-hour trek to Athens, Ohio. Six months. That seems like such a long time. By all outward appearances, we are settled … Read more

Angels of Kindness Have One Thing in Common

Did you know angels drive big, black trucks and often tell people they’re from Jamestown? At least that’s the way they are described in a recent letter I received. Actually, Angels of Kindness drive a lot of different vehicles and … Read more

Overwhelming Kindness Requires No Thank You

I had a friend once whose little boy was diagnosed with cancer. During that dark journey, the family was forced to rely on community support in almost every aspect of their lives. Medical bills, car payments, child care and homework … Read more

One Special Friend to Show Kindness

Have you ever felt like everyone was in on a joke except you? I’m not sure if I should feel angry or sad, but deep in my heart, I’m feeling a strange combination of dark emotions that are all jumbled … Read more

Couple Shows Kindness Through Fruits of Labor

There has been a big white garbage bag sitting on our back porch for about three weeks.  My sweet daughter, Jordan, planted a garden this spring, lovingly tended it all summer, beamed with pride when we used her homegrown carrots … Read more

Train Your Focus on the Light of Kindness

Have you ever noticed that when you get something stuck in your mind you start seeing it everywhere? When I gave up drinking, every billboard I drove past for at least a month was advertising some sort of alcoholic beverage.When … Read more

Kindness Paves Road to Miss America

Seventeen years ago this very weekend, I competed in the Miss America pageant representing my home state of Wisconsin. When the pageant was over, I came home with an interview award, $10,000 in scholarship money and a whole bunch of … Read more

Let Kindness Take the Wheel

This weekend is the last big hurrah for the lake crowd (sorry for reminding you) and for everyone else who wants to sneak in one last long weekend of fun before we buckle down for the fall. I’m not sure … Read more

Why Me?

Several months ago, when we left North Dakota for Ohio, we moved into a lovely home tucked into a quiet, wooded neighborhood in the city of Athens. Just before you turn to go up the hill into our subdivision, you … Read more

Kind Gift Helps Couple Celebrate Anniversary

I never wanted to get married. I didn’t believe in the institution of marriage. I honestly thought it was impossible for a man and a woman to remain faithful to each other for a lifetime. I dated. I eventually wanted … Read more

Mysterious Sign Revolves Around Kindness

Have you ever driven by a sign outside of a business again and again, always wondering what it meant but never taking the time to find out? My interest-piquing sign is at the corner of Main Avenue and Fourth Street … Read more

Boy Turns Mean Joke into Act of Kindness

I recently talked to the father of a Minnesota boy who could very well capture the attention of the nation and change the way the medical world uses marijuana. Brett Solum is a 13-year-old boy who, in many ways, is … Read more

A Token of Kindness Can Heal a Heart

Nothing scares me more than the thought of losing a child. And yet, tragically, it happens. I have never been able to grasp how parents get through an experience like that. And yet, miraculously, they do. Jeanette Maré lost her … Read more

Serving Others Makes ‘A Wonderful Life’

I’m way out of season here, but do you remember that movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life?” My husband and I watch it every Christmas snuggled up on the couch. I start getting misty-eyed right about the time Clarence, the guardian … Read more

The Red, White and Blue of Kindness

If you haven’t pulled every red, white and blue decoration out of storage by now, you’re late. If that’s you, grab something colorful from your closet and then come back and finish reading this column. The colors have been unfurled … Read more