We’ve done a fair amount, in this space, of discussing empathy and children in the age of pandemic lockdown.
Next week, you will all likely begin seeing the May issues of Preston Hollow People and Park Cities People in your mailboxes and newsstands. Inside, you’ll see a lot of great examples of people becoming helpers during this crisis. It’ll be great discussion points for your family, and I encourage you to even talk about your favorite story of helpfulness and kindness in the new issue.
Today, though, I want to give your family homework along those lines – and don’t worry, it’s an easy dinner-table task that you’ll be able to do together, and will definitely spawn more conversations about gratitude, empathy, and what it means to be a community.
Our sister publication, D Magazine, has turned its annual Best of Big D into a way to honor the heroes of this very long story we’re all embedded in.
“The 2020 edition of the Best of Big D will focus on the people who are getting us through this, the doctors and the nurses and the grocers and the social service providers and the neighbor who surprised his kid with a 16th birthday party at a distance,” Matt Goodman explained. “We’re calling it the hero edition, and we believe there are heroes everywhere—that restaurateur who pivoted to takeout and selling boxes of local produce while keeping his employees on payroll? Hero. The vet who’s still providing care to your aging, sick, sweet cat? Hero.”
This is a great opportunity for your family to open up the survey and start talking about what you’ve seen and read about and participate.
Fill out the survey as a family, thinking about the neighbor who has decorated the sidewalks with inspirational messages every day, or the retail worker who worked with you to pull together the perfect Easter basket over the phone and armed only with your child’s likes and dislikes and a budget, or the teacher that visited every single student from the sidewalk.
I have yet to talk to someone that did not have a story of kindness to tell – and most had several – during this pandemic. And this is your family’s chance to not only honor these local, unsung heroes but to also have some meaningful conversations about what it means to be a community.
Have fun with the survey, and do be on the lookout for your May issue. Let us know what acts of kindness you’ve seen in the community, too.
Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she’s taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She doesn’t like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at email@example.com.