COLUMBUS, Ohio — Former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton delivered a simple, yet encouraging message to Ohioans in honor of World Kindness Day.
Acton, who stepped down from her position in June, is now the director of kindness at Columbus Foundation's Kind Columbus initiative.
In a video released Friday, she asked Ohioans to think of kindness as contagious — a simple act each person can do.
“Imagine for a moment that each kind act is contagious too and that has the power to grow exponentially just like the virus," Acton said. "What if we all choose to be kind. What if we all help one another through this time, through this storm and give each other a lift up on our life raft."
Acton said it will take courage from all Ohioans to get through the next couple of months.
"We must make sacrifices this holiday season to safeguard all of the other holidays to come. In doing so, we will be creating those layers of swiss cheese that keep us safe... another layer is created to keep us safe and that is kindness," Acton said.
Acton said we have reached a critical point in the pandemic, and we can either continue on a downward spiral or come together to contain the virus and change the course, all the while lifting others around us.
"During this difficult time, caring for one another will help keep our sense of community, common purpose and give meaning to what we are experiencing. It can help us get through. Our country’s deep divisions have been exposed by this virus, they weren’t caused by it. And kindness has that ability to help us unite and help us heal," she said.
In addition to what's already a daily practice — putting on a mask — Acton said before you put a mask on, take a deep breath and check in within yourself. Acton said by making this a daily habit, helping you reset.
Acton asked Ohioans to dig deep one more time — doing acts of kindness, particularly to the frontline workers who have been in the fight against the virus for nearly a year.
"Let's commit to act on love, not hate. Let’s act on kindness and not fear," she said.
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