CLEVELAND — A campaign to turn Cleveland into "Kindland" is ramping up efforts coming out of the 2020 presidential election.
In addition to having our patience put to the test, this year's vote tally reveals just how divided we are.
“I don’t believe the politicians will pull our country together. I believe ordinary citizens doing acts of kindness will,” said Stuart Muszynski with Values in Action.
He believes that breaking the cycle of gloom and doom can be done by encouraging random acts of kindness.
“We felt that 2020 was going to be one of the most negative years that we’ve had in our history. The country is not falling apart because there’s human decency,” said Muszynski.
The nonprofit Values in Action is using this moment of divisiveness in America to encourage people to get back to the basics.
“You have to try kindness, it’s a core value” said Alan G. Ross with Values in Action.
It's a value Rev. Brian Cash of East Mount Zion Baptist Church believes can start to heal our communities.
“You cannot do any work that’s transformative if you do not come together and work together,” said Cash.
Without those partnerships, Cash said it will be difficult for some to share goodwill.
“If those who are in power do not collaborate with those who do not have voice, then the community will not have a reason to be kind,” said Cash.
Kindland is bringing together nearly 100 business leaders in Northeast Ohio to have those often-difficult conversations.
“Those individuals who have power, those individuals who have resources to be able to share those resources into the communit—that gives the community a reason to have kindness,” said Cash.
Values in Action hopes to see 1 million acts of kindness logged in Northeast Ohio by the end of 2021.
“We do believe that Cleveland can become Kindland,” said Muszynski.
The campaign of course is hearing from critics who call this nothing more than sitting around the campfire singing ‘Kumbaya.’
“But it’s not—there’s science behind it. There's a whole history behind kindness that says it's not,” said Muszynski.
As the team behind Kindland encourages people to replace their political signs with theirs intended to promote compassion, Cash is ready to get to work.
“If we do not come together now then this is going to be a missed opportunity in history and our children will read this in the history books and they will say why don’t you all come together sooner,” said Cash.