Acts of Kindness & Love: January 2023

Introduction from my Facebook Page

I have long been an admirer of Steve Hartman, the CBS reporter who does the soft “human interest” segment that typically comes at the end of the nightly coverage of wars, crime, disasters, death and destruction. Most aspiring reporters would see this assignment as paying their dues until they can move up into “real” news. Steve Hartman doesn’t see it this way, and neither do I. 

So much of the news we see is about man’s inhumanity to man — about greed, selfishness, cruelty and all the other terrible things we can be and do. The news that Steve Hartman presents is about the man’s humanity to man — stories about people rising to their best selves, about kindness, gratitude, hope and love. He’s not aspiring to report “real” news, he’s doing it now.

Some time back I ran a series of videos here under the banner ‘Acts of Kindness & Love.’ I also consolidated them all into a post on my blog. It’s been a while and a lot of you are new Facebook friends since then.

Starting now and continuing daily for a while, I will post old stories by Steve Hartman and sometimes other reporters and programs. It’s good to step back from the unusual onslaught of “hard” news to watch these, even if you’ve seen some of them before. 

Sunday 1/15

I’ll begin today with Steve’s own favorite stories from 2022. Consider it a “blessing cake.” Watch and you’ll understand.

Monday 1/16

Two years ago, Eugene Yoon made the craziest decision of his life. With no degree or plan, he decided he wanted to help a paralyzed man walk again. As Steve Hartman reports, after reaching that goal, he set his sights on a repeat performance.

Tuesday 1/17

Bud Caldwell brings daisies to his wife’s memorial bench as often as he can. But his ritual was obstructed when snow covered the path he took to the bench. That’s when complete strangers stepped in to help clear the way for Caldwell.

Wednesday 1/18

Joseph Tidd was born without a left hand. But he’s not alone. He recently met soccer player Carson Pickett, who is just like him.

Thursday 1/19

Steve Hartman tells us about an unusual ritual in one Utah community that has bound residents together, to come to the aid every evening of a neighbor with multiple sclerosis.

Friday 1/20

A two-year-old girl who is deaf loves to chat with anyone. When her neighbors found out, they came together to learn how to communicate with her.

Saturday 1/21

Ruby Chitsey likes to go to work with her mom at a nursing home. One day she decided to ask the residents what they wished for.

Sunday 1/22

Austin Perine may look like your average 4-year-old. But once a week, he turns into his alter ego: a superhero set on feeding as many homeless people as possible. 

Monday 1/23

In April, a blind drag racer inspired Steve Hartman’s blind nephew to dream bigger. After seeing the story, a pilot offered to give flight to his nephew’s new dream.

Tuesday 1/24  [1 of 2]

Noah is a senior in high school and gets home before his younger brother Max. To have a bit of fun, Noah started dressing up in different costumes each day to meet Max at bus stop, which just happens to be outside their front door.

At first Noah started doing this to embarrass Max, but eventually it turned into a loving and memorable ritual which their mother records.

Tuesday 1/24  [2 of 2]

Each day here I’m posting examples of kindness & love in action. It’s a nice thing for the recipient, but turns out it’s good for the person practicing kindness as well.

Wednesday 1/25

In 2003 Army 1st Lt. Jonathan Rozier died in Iraq. His son, Justin, was nine months old. Today, 15-year-old Justin cherishes anything that used to belong to his dad, which is why he thought it would be so cool to have a car he owned, like the ’99 Toyota Celica convertible his mom had to sell after Jonathan’s death. Steve Hartman reports the heartwarming story about where the search for Justin’s dad’s car ended up.

Thursday 1/26

David Good’s mother grew up in a remote village in the Amazon jungle. After meeting an American anthropologist, she moved to New Jersey and started a family. After she decided to return to her village, her son made an extraordinary trip to reconnect with her. Steve Hartman reports.

Friday 1/27  [1 of 2]

Today’s Act of Kindness & Love…  is actually 2+ acts — here the U.S. and in France. Holocaust Remembrance Day seems a good time to tell this story as our attention is focused on the holocaust and all the people who gave their lives fighting to stop it. 

The wife of a World War II pilot never remarried after her husband was declared missing in action. For decades she waited for some news of her husband’s fate, even lied to by a disinterested congressmen who couldn’t be bothered. Finally her husband’s cousin decided to search out the truth. That was the first act of kindness & love. Then came many acts of kindness by an entire town in France.

Friday 1/27  [2 of 2]

This seems a good day to share an interesting sidebar to my daily ‘Kindness & Love’ series. Steve Hartman, the CBS reporter behind most of the videos I’m posting, took Ancestry’s DNA test. The outcome was very surprising. He found he had a grandfather from Cleveland he never knew about, and consequently a whole new branch of his family. Adding to the surprise, Steve learned that he’s Jewish. No, really! Not like George Santos being “Jew-ish.”

It’s a fun story that I hope you’ll watch. I also come away with this thought: 

Steve’s story drives home the lesson that underneath we are all the same — and possibly a whole lot more than we realize! Just imagine. It’s quite likely that some antisemitic people out there, even among the most rabid haters, might just possibly be Jewish themselves.

Saturday 1/28

Three-year-old Quinn Waters’ natural immunity was temporarily wiped out after he got a stem cell transplant to treat his brain cancer. As a precaution, he isn’t allowed outside his Weymouth, Massachusetts house, and no one is allowed inside to visit. But that hasn’t stopped the world from beating a path to his window. Steve Hartman reports.

Sunday 1/29

Today’s Act of Kindness & Love… We can all do it! Reaching out to others makes a difference.

Kevin Hines is a walking miracle, having jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived. But what might have kept him from jumping at all could have been something as simple as getting a letter in the mail.  One psychiatrist’s long-forgotten idea about giving support to those hospitalized or treated for depression or attempting suicide is being revived, and is finding positive results in an era of texting. Lee Cowan reports.

Monday 1/30

For barbecue lovers, Brad’s Bar-B-Que in Oxford, Alabama, is heaven on Earth. But 80-year-old Eleanor Baker said her visit here earlier this month was especially divine. Steve Hartman reports.

Tuesday 1/31

Jaden Hayes lost both of his parents at a young age. But he is determined to live life with joy. As Steve Hartman shows us, the six-year-old is embarking on a mission to turn frowns into smiles.

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