According to a CNN article, sixth-grader Ruben Martinez plans to display posters, pass out flyers, and promote a challenge on Facebook to help his Texas community begin to heal from the devastating shooting that claimed the lives of twenty-two people and injured twenty-four others. This eleven-year-old is encouraging each person in El Paso to do twenty-two good deeds for others—one for each of the victims who were shot and killed when a white supremacist fired shots inside a Walmart on August 3, 2019.
These kind acts may include mowing someone’s lawn, visiting a nursing home, paying for someone’s meal, donating to families in need, writing a letter and telling the person how great they are, holding the door for others, taking flowers to someone in the hospital, or leaving a dollar on the vending machine for the next person.
Ruben’s mom, Rose Gandarilla, explained, “The basic principle is for people to be kind to each other all day, every day.” Ruben’s idea came after he told her he didn’t want to go shopping at stores anymore, asking if they could find a delivery service instead. He was having trouble dealing with what happened, so she explained they could not live in fear and that the people in their community are caring and loving. She told him to try and think of something he could do to make El Paso better. Ruben went to his room, gave it some thought, and came up with the challenge—and he’s already leading the way! He and his mom went to several places—Walgreens, Barnes and Noble, and Sprouts to spread the message. His mother acknowledged, “He seems to be doing better and says that, hopefully, the world will be a better place with all these random acts of kindness.”
Dear reader, what are your reactions to such catastrophes, whether near or far? Do they disrupt your life? Affect you emotionally? Cause you great concern regarding the nature of human life on this planet? When I was in grade school and the atomic bomb was dropped in Japan, it was a relief that the war ended, yet also caused me worry and concern that a nuclear attack would occur in the United States. What are some ways that you cope with these tragic and stressful events? Would you be willing to accept Ruben Martinez's challenge? All comments are most welcome.