Posted: Friday, Jan 14th, 2022
The Power of Ventura Kindness
Kindness feels good. It is as small as a smile, and a power without limits. Kindness can change a day, a life, a world. Each equally magnificent.
Think back to the last time someone did something kind for you.
“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people,” said Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Perhaps kindness matters now more than ever, as Ventura, our state of California, and the world continue to navigate a shape-shifting pandemic.
For nineteen months, Visit Ventura has made kindness a cornerstone of our efforts to help Ventura get through the pandemic. It’s been part of every program we’ve created to help our businesses and our hometown during the pandemic. “Shop Ventura, Save Ventura,” “Takeout Tuesdays,” “Thirsty Thursday,” and “Feel Good Fridays” have highlighted local businesses of every ilk. And asked people to perform a simple, but critical, kindness. Please support local.
We’ve also asked folks to perform simple kindnesses. Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line. Buy takeout from a Ventura restaurant. Buy a sandwich, and hand it to the first person who looks hungry. Right now we’re distributing kindness cards – actually we’re asking you to, well, kindly do it. We created the cards (which you can pick up at the Ventura Visitor Center, 101 South California Street) for a simple, not-so-simple reason. To pass along kindness. Pick your cards up at the Visitor Center. Keep them handy. Then pass them on, spontaneously or no, to someone who deserves a thanks. Someone who is a model of kindness. Someone who gave you great service. Someone who inspires you. Someone who just makes you smile.
Your turn to make them smile.
Because we all need a boost.
Kindness isn’t just about warm fuzzies. It has serious underpinnings. Early in the pandemic the Ventura Chamber of Commerce took a poll of local businesses. About a third said they didn’t expect to make it through the pandemic. As you read this, nearly 90 percent of those businesses are still in business. Why? Because Venturans, and kind visitors, have stepped up to the plate, supporting local in every way they can.
And kindness is still seriously required. Ventura’s businesses, so many of them locally owned, continue to face ever-changing challenges. Ripple effects of every kind. Now many businesses are short staffed, struggling to do a lot more with fewer people. From hotels, to restaurants, to retail, they are working hard to hire staff, but sometimes waits are a little longer and phones ring a little longer. Necessitating simple kindnesses like patience, an understanding smile, a kind word. As folks take to the California road – and there is no road trip state like California – demands on our businesses will – happily – increase. And, without doubt, Ventura’s – and California’s – businesses will not merely adjust, but invent, innovate and thrive. Because in California innovation and invention are our trademarks.
We are all walking through this time together. Who wouldn’t want to make it more pleasant? And it requires pretty much nothing. No effort (how hard is a smile?). No real inconvenience (how hard, a few extra beats of patience?) No timetable.
“Be kind whenever possible,” the Dalai Lama once said. “It is always possible.”
Kindness is no pushover. It is a lot tougher than it looks. Ventura knows the power of kindness. Kindness has proved we won’t be knocked down. Not by a fire. Not by a pandemic. Not by anything.
In Ventura. In California. In this world we all call home. Nothing beats invincible spirit, community, and simple kindnesses.
It’s not rocket science.
That may be the greatest power of kindness.
Anyone can do it.
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