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Kindness And Caring
Mommy Musings 7-26-23

When did we stop being kind to one another? When did we stop listening, smiling, being patient? And good Lord when did we forget that hexagon shaped thing at varying corners, painted red with the letters S-T-O-P on it, means just that.

I ponder this a lot lately and I’m pretty certain this isn’t a first that I’ve voiced this in this column space. I still stand committed to the fact that it all began with technology. Phone calls with loved ones now replaced by text message, e-mail or messenger. Families “seeing” the latest on our lives via Snapchat, Facebook, Insta and all the other social wonders.

And then came COVID. Regardless of your opinion of the “Vid,” the “germ” or whatever pet name you may have given it, if you’re not aware that this affected us socially – think again. Humans are not to live in isolation. Doubt me? Sit back and watch the movie “Castaway” and then let’s talk. The “Vid” really did a number by way of making keyboard warriors feel more powerful and families becoming more reliant on the aforementioned tools.

Personally, by way of the “social” (aka social media) what I’ve enjoyed seeing the most as of late is everyone traveling. We talk often about how “social” is a highlight reel and quite honestly, as I navigate this world with so many lacking smiles and kindness in customer service, I am here for the highlight reel. Seeing people out traveling the world with friends, family or both brings me such great joy. Little kids in a lake, on a surfboard or by a camp fire; I’m here for it.

Yet as I talk to others on the phone be it for a cell phone issue or to clarify things with my daughter’s orthodontist, I can hear irritation in their voices. Now granted, I do what I love and even I have my moments of “seriously, this again.”

Shoot, just yesterday I went out to interview someone who didn’t even know we had a local paper. Yeah, that’s a nice punch to the gut. While I mention the local news, which pays my bills, I’d also like to give a plug for local businesses to please consider advertising with us. Also a yearly subscription is a great way to support us. Remember those of you out reminding the rest to “Support Local,” well, we are as local as it gets and just like many businesses in our town, we too are family owned. Just food for thought.

But I digress.

Squirrel anyone?

Back to kindness.

When something like this troubles me to the degree that it makes a column, I often reflect and problem solve in a way as to how can we be the solution rather than part of the problem.

First of all, we have to recognize we all have bad days and not everyone can always possess the skill of leaving their troubles at the door when they report to work or the grocery store or get behind the wheel. Life’s troubles are sometimes bigger than we can handle on a daily basis.

I chuckle as I type that. During my battle with cancer, while maintaining full time work as a single mom, it always gave me a chuckle to hear “how busy” people were and what that looked like in their life.

In honesty it gave me solid perspective on how fortunate I was. To be in the middle of a legitimate storm and still able to keep the balls in the air and a smile on my face. Life was messy. Life is messy and I guess that’s where this all leads and circles back to the opening lines of this column.

Is it so hard amidst our storms to still pause and see the good stuff? Feet hit the ground, car started, food in the fridge, a couple bucks in the bank, lungs filled with air; not everyone wakes to these luxuries. That’s a fact.

So maybe, just maybe, we all need to take the time to take a breath and reconnect to these simple luxuries and then like water in a garden, when we encounter the person on an ‘off day’, plant that seed and leave a little water.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.