Column: Remember to choose kindness any chance you can

A little over a year ago, British Author Damian Barr tweeted, “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just the one oar.”

A recent weather event reminded me of this tweet and sent my mind wandering down a path I will share in a little bit. Before I do, though, how about some of the happenings from around the area.

Early last week, I proclaimed June 14 Flag Day here in Seymour. This was part of an annual event at Seymour Elks Lodge 462. Members from the Elks did a great job presenting the history of the flag and all of its various forms over the years, dating all the way back to the Second Continental Congress in 1777.

If you have never attended this event, please add a reminder to your calendar for next year. Thank you, Elks Lodge 462, for the invitation to attend such a good service.

Still under COVID protocols, the Mayor’s Institute was held virtually for 2021. This is a great chance to sit down and focus on those troubled spots that each community faces and hear firsthand experience of how to deal with various situations from around the state. Topics vary from things like economic regions, best practices when planning a budget to employee benefits. Regardless of each session’s topic, they are all full of chances to learn and grow in my role.

With so many choices of what to discuss each week, sometimes, it can be difficult to decide what to share about. This week, I want to share about community activities.

During the same time frame as CityJam, hosted by Seymour Main Street, there were multiple other options to attend. Seeing pictures from all three events, I can’t in good faith say they seemed to hurt one another. They seemed to all be busy events for three different groups.

I always hope event planners take a quick look around to see what might conflict but remember to consider the target as they plan their events.

If you were a family attending the free swim night provided by NTN Driveshaft at Shields Park Pool, a team playing Trivia Night at The Seymour Brewing Co. or a Jimmy Buffett fan at CityJam, I hope you enjoyed the activities provided by various groups in our community.

Now to loop back to that storm we are all in, I know this does not come as a shock to anyone, but I am always on the lookout for the helpers, for the positive stories, even just for the silver lining at difficult moments.

As a front of thunderstorms rolled through recently, I found myself listening to the radio chatter from the Seymour Police Department. As sometimes happens during an event like this, I could hear the hustle trying to keep up with all of the calls and keep various roads blocked until crews could arrive to clear them.

Soon, I found myself on the phone with various city employees seeing what they needed. As I blocked traffic while roads were cleared, I was reminded that even though we are not all in the same boat, we are all experiencing the same storm. Some lost power for a few minutes. Others lost power for up to a day. Most fell somewhere in the middle.

One of those without power decided she cared about those workers running chainsaws near her home and ventured out to a safe location back from the work with water bottles in hand to make sure they had drinks to help get them through the wee hours of the morning.

Ma’am, I don’t know your name, but I can tell you that you put a smile on each one of those workers’ faces. Thank you for your kindness. It was very much appreciated.

Today, I sign off with a reminder to choose kindness any chance you can. The workers blocking the roadway or working at 2 a.m. probably didn’t cause the problem, but they are working hard to fix it not just for you but for all.

Matt Nicholson is the mayor of Seymour. Send comments to awoods@aimmedia

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