20 Random Acts of Kindness
Over the weekend, there was a horrific accident in our region involving a limousine and 20 people lost their lives both in the limo and in a parking lot where they were hit. It has sent shockwaves through everyone, whether people knew them or not, we are collectively mourning. These were young, vibrant people. Some newlyweds, some young parents, some educators, some family members. They were out enjoying a birthday party and the fall foliage. The limo was hired for safety as the passengers were being responsible as they were touring a brewery. This was not a day people envisioned their lives would end, but a day where they would be making memories and having a good time.
I think everyone sees themselves in these people. These were regular people - our neighbors, our coaches, our community volunteers, our teammates, our co-workers. They could be anyone’s son or daughter, brother or sister, mother or father.
We are reminded of what is important in life. That tomorrow is never promised. That good china and dessert are to be enjoyed. That we should take time to spend with our loved ones and to let people know we care about them.
This is a mass casualty accident and the small town fire and ambulance companies that responded are owed a debt of gratitude for working their hardest to try and save lives. For them, like for the families, memories of this tragedy will last a lifetime. Let us honor and support these brave individuals who run in and forward, putting their own lives on the line every day, standing by ready to help.
It is hard not to follow each of the news stories. It is difficult to come to grips with this occurrence. There are so many unanswered questions.
I read online the idea of performing 20 random acts of kindness for each of the lives lost. I liked this idea, because as one journalist put it, “Love does not end on the side of a country road.” If each of us intentionally seeks to do 20 random acts of kindness - whether something simple like paying for someone’s coffee or letting someone cut into a long line of traffic, volunteering for a cause, making a donation, including someone who might be lonely, or doing an anonymous favor for someone - we might keep that ripple effect of goodness and love going. I am going to try this.
Let’s all focus on what’s important and eschew the things that are not. Let us all be prepared for the worst by making sure our affairs are in order, but live for the best. Let’s seek to make a difference so that our legacy is one of good. Let us do the living that others did not get to do. We owe these 20 people that much. I wish you all peace.
The opinions are solely those of the author. Seek advice from a qualified professional before taking any action in regard to your finances.
Todd A. Slingerland, CFP®
6 Tower Place Albany NY 12203 (518) 867-4000 x105 [email protected]