Ordinary Kindness

By Julie Carpenter

Misericordia celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2021 with the venerable Sister Rosemary Connelly also recognized for her decades of leadership and compassion, serving the Misericordia community as Executive Director for more than 50 years!

Looking back on this past year, it is possible that this was likely one of the most challenging years to date in Misericordia’s history. As we round the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, we join Sister in her gratitude for the miracle of a life-saving vaccine, and her prayers for the promise of a new beginning and the return of the “ordinary” day.

But what is an ordinary day in a year where political divide, civil unrest, racial injustice, and a global pandemic dominate the news and make days seem anything but ordinary? For those of us lucky enough to have experienced an ordinary day in the life at Misericordia, we have come to understand that “ordinary” at its very core, begins with the extraordinary power of simple kindness.

Kindness is intrinsic to Misericordia’s culture, which is one of respect, inclusiveness and the belief that human dignity is a God-given right. It is never random and always mindful – thoughtful words, a showing of compassion, space for listening, a planned surprise or an unexpected deed. Like a chain reaction, this intentional practice of kindness perpetuates gratitude – a heartfelt thank you, beaming smile, or a glimmer of an eye reveals the extraordinary impact of ordinary kindness and its ripple effect that reaches within and beyond the Misericordia community.

Misericordia has long understood how love, empathy, and kindness lends to a strong community. The pandemic has tested the limits and boundaries of human kindness, making Misericordia stronger and more resilient than ever. As our world returns from isolation and begins to explore the work we must all do to come together to bridge both physical and social divide, Misericordia serves as an example, showing how simple kindness unites and offers hope for brighter and more ordinary days ahead.