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Nicole Phillips, Published April 26 2013

Kindness is Contagious: Choose flood of kindness this spring

Sunshine! Warm (well, warmer) temperatures!

It’s amazing how my mood fluctuates with the weather forecast.

I have been sitting under a gray cloud for far too long, and it’s making me crabby. No amount of bottled Vitamin D can do what Mother Nature does. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time for an attitude adjustment. I need spring, and I need it badly.

But here’s the problem: Spring isn’t going to come easy. It’s going to come with a flood fight.

In the past week, my driving has been disrupted by detours in anticipation of this flood. Roads are either closed in preparation for water or because extremely large vehicles need space to dig and move around dirt.

I saw a rare Fargo traffic jam as a line of trucks carrying sandbags was led down the road by a police escort. I can only imagine the expletives coming from the people in the cars three blocks back who were wondering what the hold-up was all about.

Our daily routines are being modified without our consent. The river is rising, and if we’re not careful, our tempers will rise right along with it.

We have a choice to make. We can choose to live the next few weeks allowing worry and impatience to cloud our minds or we can choose to lead with kindness and gratitude.

I am choosing Option 2.

I am so grateful there are people willing to work more than their 40 hours a week to make sure this region is ready for whatever is coming. I’m grateful to city leaders who take time to share their predictions to keep us in the loop. And I’m grateful for volunteers who gave up their free time to fill and lay sandbags.

Now, as we sit and wait and reflect on what we’re grateful for, we can continue to fight off the worry by being kind. Ask an elderly neighbor, someone who lives by the river, or a friend whom you know is without family if there is anything you can do to help them prepare for this flood. Even if you aren’t able to physically help them, your genuine concern over their welfare will be appreciated.

Perhaps when we look back on this year, we won’t just remember the height of the river or the number of sandbags piled, perhaps we will also remember Spring of 2013 for a flood of kindness.

Nicole Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo, and currently the Executive Director of Diva Connection Foundation. She is the mother of three kids and the wife of Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.