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Kindness Will Carry Us Through

It was a simple act. It caught my attention while I was filling my gas tank recently. Two boys, probably 9 or 10 years old, had come out of the gas station store and got on their bicycles. Each had a can of pop in their hands.

One boy was a little older and bigger than the other one. The younger boy was struggling to open his can. Without a word exchanged, the older boy got off his bicycle and went over to the younger kid and opened his pop. The younger boy smiled broadly. Then they both went on their way down the street.

Like I said it was a simple act of kindness, perhaps between two brothers or friends. The older boy did not look bothered by the fact the younger boy needed some help. He just jumped in to help him out. And the younger one took it all in stride as if he knew the other boy would help him.

I envied the older boy’s patience. I could not help but smile at this tiny act I witnessed on a day when so much of the ordinary, every-day events of our lives are not so ordinary anymore.

Have you noticed how people look at one another when out and about? If you don’t wear a mask at the grocery store, you just might get the evil eye from others. On the other hand, there are those who scoff at the usefulness of masks at preventing the spread of the coronavirus that has crippled our economy, fractured families and left some wondering how to pay next month’s mortgage when the free government money ends.

It makes for some very uncomfortable interaction among people — adults that is. Kids seem pretty much unfazed by all that is going on around them. I’m sure there are many youngsters who missed going to school because that’s where their friends are. It may be the only place where they sit at a table and enjoy a meal and the camaraderie of other kids.

Now with summer in full swing, the challenges we all face are growing. We are outdoors more. The parks, stores and playgrounds are busier than ever. On the first warm weekend in May you could hardly find a parking place at Lowes as everyone was anxious to complete home projects, plant gardens and reseed the lawn. It’s been that way every weekend since from what I’ve been told.

The swimming pool at Oglebay Park is doing blockbuster business on hot days and the golf courses look busy, too. People are frequenting the walking trails in greater numbers and bicycle sales have risen dramatically.

Not all the city pools in Wheeling are open much to the chagrin of neighborhood kids in South Wheeling and at East Wheeling. Yet it’s a good time to make the much-needed repairs and upgrades at the closed pools. It makes sense but it’s hard to explain to the younger set.

I guess the best thing we can do now is take a cue from those two boys on their bikes. Don’t hesitate to help someone else. Use common sense and most of all, be kind.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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