Kindness is Everything

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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Kindness is Everything
Oppressive news. Oppressive heat wave. August’s end was not kind. In hopes of lifting the oppressive cloud in my head, with Tippy (dog) and Tom (cat), I took an early morning stroll around the perimeter of Bonnell Park. At 6:30 a.m., it was already hot and humid. It would get worse. As we regained the street, I looked up, stopped, and stared. The canvas banner hanging on a neighbor’s fence declared in loud, colorful, hand-painted letters: “Kindness is Everything.” In that moment, dark thoughts dissipated. I may even have smiled. As if that weren’t enough, the day’s end would put an exclamation point on the message when I went to the grocery store to pick up a few necessities (like ice cream). Standing in the socially distanced line, I noticed that the elderly woman checking out was flustered, fumbling in her purse. Her credit cards had been declined. She had no cash, could she write a check. Without waiting another second, a young man behind her quietly said to the checker, “I’ll pay for it.” The woman tried to protest but instead, burst into tears. “Just have a great day,” he said, smiling. Talk about little ripples changing people’s lives…the whole day was a lesson in kindness.
Speaking of living kindness, this issue features a profile of Sara Baisley, a Topangan who is a wine specialist at Pavilions in Marina Del Rey and lives just down the road from her profiler, Kathie Kathie Gibboney. When the pandemic hit and the Stay at Home order was announced, Baisley chose to stay with her co-workers on the front lines as “essential workers,” helping to calm panicked shoppers looking for supplies. (Page 18)

We also have the first of a two-part feature by Ali Depsky, an American living in Argentina, who, observing protesters there against the murder of George Floyd in the U.S., offers deep insight into Argentina’s evolution of racism and draws parallels with the United States. (Pages 10-11).

About the Black Lives Matter signs. We received an email telling us that BLM signs were disappearing. It was also on Next Door Topanga, but we thought we would add our voice to the subject. No matter how tired you are of protests, deadly use of force by police, and the fear-mongering of the president, this is a movement for equal rights that is not going away.

It’s a 400-year-old pandemic of systemic violence that, unlike the coronavirus, doesn’t have hopes of a vaccine in six months to stem its deadly march.

We can change all that, starting perhaps, with a little show of kindness.
Flavia Potenza

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September 4, 2020