Guess where I found the invitation for Kindness this week! Thom, dachshund Lacey and I took a stroll around Capitol Lake in Olympia, Washington. Doggie Bag Stations were available at several locations around the lake. Instead of a demanding or shaming notice, the post requested the dog owner to “Be Kind & Don’t Be Fined.” It was an appeal suggesting that the act of being considerate of other walkers and caring for the environment are acts of kindness. Also, with a snappy, easy rhyme the dog owner is gently reminded of the fact that if kindness and disease prevention are not sufficient deterrents, a financial hit to the wallet could be the consequence.
This week I also had a conversation with a close friend who lives in an area where some neighbors give little thought to putting their trash carefully into the dumpster. Weekly, my friend dons heavy-duty rubber gloves to clean up around the dumpster, gathering up dirty diapers, spoiled food, broken furniture, etc. Together we processed options on how to raise the awareness of the neglect and how it impacts the neighborhood. One option considered was mounting a big poster on the dumpster stating, “Be Kind to Others and our Neighborhood. Put trash into the dumpster.” Shifting a demand for disposing of trash properly to making it a request for kindness might be the insight that makes a difference.
**The photo shows the sign posted as well as the Washington State Capitol building and its reflection in the lake.