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letter2710When I was a freshman in college I received a letter that forever opened a window in my soul. I had just started writing and the editor of my local county newspaper had been kind enough to publish some of my work. About a month later the letter arrived. Sadly, I lost it in the many moves I have made since then, but its essence still lives in my heart.

Here is what it said. "You may not remember me. We last saw each other in kindergarten and my family moved the next year. We still get the county paper in the mail, though, and when I saw your name I had to write you. You see that first year in school was very difficult for me. I was a tiny, sickly, and homely girl that the other children teased everyday. The thing I remember about you is that you never did. You were always kind to me. When we lined up to go out the teacher always put me beside you and you would hold my hand as we crossed the street. You talked to me and played with me. When you were around too the other kids didn’t tease me. You saw me as a person, not someone different and I will be forever grateful for that. My whole life was better because of how you treated me all those years ago."

I quickly wrote back to my kindergarten friend and we corresponded happily for several years before the illness that she had struggled with since childhood finally took her life. I will never forget, however, just how much that simple kindness I had shared meant to her. It made me see that kindness, goodness, love, and joy truly are the most important things in the world.

Every act of kindness we do touches another’s heart. Every bit of goodness we share makes the world a better place. Every choice for love we make brings us and those around us closer to God. God blessed us with the power to help, heal, love, and change this world forever. Let’s use that power and make both Earth and Heaven smile.

Joseph J. Mazzella