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Nicole J. Phillips, Published November 15 2013

Old-fashioned kindness amid today's technology

As our world gets smaller through the Internet, cable TV and free long-distance phone calls, I think it’s also getting bigger and more disconnected.

We can say things – mean, hurtful things –without having to look a person in the eye. We can voice our opinions and send them off into cyber-space without any ramifications. We can spend our entire day ignoring the needs of others, assuming someone else will fill the bill.

Or we can stop, open our hearts and do what’s not only kind, but what would have once been considered common courtesy. I’m thankful for the following examples of ways people in Fargo are bringing back the good ol’ days.

From Lorna in Fargo:

“One sunny day this past summer I was on my way from my north Fargo home to a luncheon in south Fargo. My path was continually blocked by construction, one street after the other until I had lost my way.

“Finally, knowing that time was becoming an issue, I pulled into a driveway and asked directions of a gentleman retrieving his garbage can from the berm. He began giving directions, then deciding it was too complicated, he got into his own car and graciously and efficiently led me through the construction and traffic right into the parking lot where my event was being held and just in time for the luncheon to begin, I was touched by his generous kindness.

“On another day, I had walked to the Northport grocery store and library and was on my way home when suddenly I realized my credit card was missing.

“Entering my apartment, the message light on my phone was blinking. The voice said, ‘This is Bell State Bank. Someone has turned in your credit card and it is here waiting for you to pick it up.’

“Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with relief and gratitude!

“I learned someone had found my card in the parking lot, taken it into the store adjoining the library, and that a service person there had turned it in at the bank. My heart continues to be warmed as I think of the kindness and integrity of these people who saved the day for me!”

And from another grateful woman in Wahpeton:

“I went to lunch by myself at the Olive Garden before a recent doctor’s appointment in Fargo. Across from me were three lovely ladies and a cute 2-month-old baby girl. As I was ready to leave, the waitress said, ‘Your meal was taken care of.’ I was shocked and thought, ‘Who knows me here?’

“It was the three nice ladies, and I want to thank them now for their acts of kindness. It truly made my day, brought tears to my eyes, and made me want to do an act of kindness for someone else.

“A few days later, I had a pick-up at Domino’s, and, not realizing it, had dropped my credit card. The next morning, an ambulance driver called to tell me he had found my card. He even brought it to my door. I was really blessed and fortunate.”

From Mavis of Fargo:

“I was trying to juggle my umbrella in the pouring rain and put money in the kiosk outside the NDSU student union. I put in half of the fee in quarters, then watched in dismay as the machine refused to take my dollar bills.

“A student who was waiting to pay his own fee asked if he could help. I explained my dilemma and he tried my bill, which the machine again rejected. He took his pre-paid parking card and paid for my parking. I thanked him and offered to reimburse him, to which he replied, ‘No thanks,’ and wished me a great day.

“Three days later, I was in the check-out line at Hornbachers. When I took out my checkbook to pay for my items, I was told to put it away. I asked if they were closing the lane and was told the gentleman who had just left had paid for my groceries. In disbelief, I asked why and how could he have known how much it was. My eyes filled up with tears.

“On my short drive home, with tears streaming down my face, I thought about these random acts of kindness. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for these two strangers who were my angels.”

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at info@nicolejphillips.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.

Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is an author, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday. You can also get a Daily Dose of Inspiration from Nicole at www.nicolejphillips.com.