From Our Team
Acts of kindness are a small investment with big pay off
Posted on June 16, 2020 by Enrique Mata
Like most everyone in the region, my family is practicing social distancing. On the bright side, COVID-19 has opened new opportunities to share time with my wife and kids.
We recently took time to watch the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a story about how Fred Rogers made an impact in the world with simple actions that promoted love, caring and kindness to help people cope with adversity and difficult life events. The movie reminded me of my childhood and some good times (embedded within tough times), when watching an episode of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” gave me a calming resilience.
Fred Rogers, like many unsung heroes, worked hard to show that in the worst of times, we can grow, learn and be good role models for future generations. For example, during a 1993 interview on the “Arsenio Hall Show”, Fred Rogers was asked by Arsenio: “There’s an attitude out there, there’s things going on, there’s a lot of hopelessness. What do we need to do?” Rogers responded; “It weighs heavy on all of us, doesn’t it? And there is no simple answer of course. But if we could, through television programs and every other imaginable program, let people know that each and every one of us is precious, let everyone know that we have value in this life.”
Statements like those in uncertain times help us to be united and resilient. They remind us of the most important things in life, like setting good examples for children.
The people of the Paso del Norte region are known for their kindness and creativity. My mother taught me to be a helper and to look for other helpers in tough times. Let’s all work to be that person that comes around the corner and does something wonderful for somebody else.
One good way to start is to be thankful for those who lent a helping hand so you could become who you are. Studies suggest that grateful feelings like appreciating people, things, and experiences provide health benefits such as reduced stress and motivation to exercise. As Fred Rogers would say, “Imagine how grateful (those who helped you) must be that during your silent time you remember how important they are to you.”
In today’s world we have so many assets available to us. Much of this technology, like online audio and video communication apps that help to keep us connected, did not even exist a decade ago. Some of these programs can now help us gain timely access to mental and physical health professionals where and when we need them.
We have 24-hour crisis phone lines and text systems, and 2-1-1 and 3-1-1 information and referral support lines all available to help connect individuals and families with much needed resources. Most importantly, we have each other.
With these powerful tools we can promote health and healing and prevent isolation, loneliness, and despair, even if we must maintain a social distance. Contributing to better emotional well-being costs nothing more than a positive gesture.
Some simple acts include paying someone a compliment, making someone smile, calling your parents or playing with your kids, helping someone who is struggling or just letting folks know you care. Paying it forward helps you, those you help and who knows how many others who will follow in your footsteps. That sure sounds like a great return for such an important minimal investment.
To learn more about emotional health, visit:
- Examples of Random Acts of Kindness Activities: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas
- The National Children’s Traumatic Stress Network Resources for Families: https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/fact-sheet/nctsn_resources_covid.pdf
- Emotionally Managing COVID-19: A Parent and Caregiver’s Guide: Emotionally Managing COVID-19: A Parent and Caregiver’s Guide
- list text hereStaying Mindful of Child Development When Discussing COVID-19: Staying Mindful of Child Development When Discussing COVID-19,
For help finding a mental health provider visit:
- Emergence Health Network: (915) 779-1800 http://emergencehealthnetwork.org
- Empower Change Resource Directory: https://empowerchange.utep.edu/directory
- NAMI El Paso at: 915-778-5726 https://namiep.org/
- El Paso Child Guidance Center: 915-562-1999 http://epcgc.org/
- Paso del Norte Children’s Development Center (915) 915-544-8484 http://pdnchildrens.org/
Back to Articles