Have you ever done something nice for someone, and can you remember how it made you feel? I'm guessing it made you feel really good. It could be something as small as the proverbial helping the little old lady across the street or mounting a successful funding campaign that hits and exceeds its goal and profoundly turns someone's life around.

Acts of kindness are flat-out good for the soul; helping people is simply the right thing to do and the added bonus of it making you feel good should be all the motivation you need. Gino Bartali (he was a champion cyclist during World War II who smuggled false documents in the tubes of his bike in something called the Assisi Underground, which saved the lives of Jewish refugees), once said — "Good is something you do, not something you talk about. Some medals are pinned to your soul, not to your jacket." Brilliant.

Acts of kindness know no age limit, gender, race, or sexual orientation; being kind is just being kind. So why doesn't more of it happen? Why is it we seem to be so incredibly self-involved? Not all of us are, mind you, and truth be told I really believe that a majority of us are more geared to doing good rather than just being pimples on the buttocks of society. There are a lot of ways to be kind — hold the door open for someone, let someone out in traffic on a busy street, help out with a local fundraiser, or help a friend move a couch.

There are a billion ways to be nice, including a few things that will help your community.


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You could take a walk or run this Sunday and help out Black Mountain Assisted Family Living, which provides permanent housing for individuals with developmental delays. It's the 5th annual Maple 5K, it's low key and fun and the prizes are great. The event starts at 9 a.m. and is on Upper Dummerston Road across from the Brattleboro Country Club. For more information, visit www.bmafl.org.

If you're feeling a little more adventurous how about Hiking for the Homeless on Saturday, Oct. 1, for Groundworks Collaborative (formerly Morningside Shelter and the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center)? It's the 6th year of this great event and you can choose a walk along the West River or take the more rigorous hike to the top of Mount Wantastiquet where you'll be rewarded with a spectacular view of Brattleboro. You can form a team and raise some money, or you can register as an individual and your fee can be your contribution. Either way you go, it's simply a kind thing to do. And you can find out more information by going to their website at www.groundworksvt.org.

Maybe walking, running and hiking isn't your thing. Maybe you are a much more relaxed individual. Well just for you: Allow me to present the Empty Bowls Dinner being held at Landmark College. You gotta eat, right? You'd probably go out for dinner anyway, so why not spend the money and do something kind? All proceeds benefit the Food Shelf at Groundworks Drop In Center — providing emergency food assistance for more than 1,300 individuals per month. This has been a staple in the area for 13 years and the concept is brilliant; pick a time to eat — 5 or 6:30 -p.m. Visit groundworksvt.org and buy your tickets online (I know ... we've never been able to purchase them online before) and then show up on Oct. 8 and enjoy.

There are many events going on this fall that will give you every opportunity to be kind. The Make A Wish organization is doing a fun raffle and party at the Brattleboro Country Club on the 30th of this month, and we're all aware of the great work that organization does.

There are four things right there that you can be involved in, that will put positive stuff into the atmosphere. Let's face it, we could all use a little lift in spirits, right? What the hell is up with that?

Fish is the opinionated morning jock on Classic Hits 92.7. He offers up his opinion at 7:50 a.m. every morning (Monday through Friday). Let's start the revolution. E-mail him at fish@wkvt.com. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.