Spread the love beyond Valentine’s Day

By Kacie Svoboda

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Valentine’s Day has come and gone in a flurry of roses, chocolates and other little tokens of love. But if it were up to me, I think we could continue to spread the joy for a while longer.

The last few months have been rough for me. Whether it was the natural consequence of a brutal election or something more insidious, it seems the world has been full of a lot of hate lately. Hate for certain ethnicities, hate for religious followers, hate for Republicans, hate for Democrats, hate for the government as a whole and hate for the media — of which I am a part.

So when I get done following the mainstream news down its dark rabbit hole each day, I like to try to find something good to balance it out.

This week, I discovered suspended coffees. Suspended coffees are currently found in coffee shops in big cities with significant homeless populations. Customers can pay in advance for coffees, which are then left to be claimed by those who can’t afford to buy a cup themselves.

I know what a jolt a much-needed cup of joe can provide in motivating me or turning a lousy day around. So I like the idea of offering this luxury to those who can’t afford it. However, I do acknowledge that there are way more nutritious and necessary items that homeless people need before coffee. Though the article I read did say that in some places, someone could get a suspended sandwich or other coffee shop food item.

I also fully acknowledge this isn’t a concept that would be very applicable in Hill City, as we fortunately don’t have a homeless population. But there is another way to apply this concept locally.

At the Annie Lode Coffee Cabin east of town, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a free coffee courtesy of the car in front of me a few times. This wasn’t because they knew who I am, it was simply a kind act from a stranger. Customers can just give owners Rollie and Dawnette Owens extra money and instruct them to pay for the next order — effectively and easily spreading a little joy.

As a recipient, I can say it brightened my day and lightened the burden of my caffeine addiction. It takes only a few dollars and a minute of your time and you could make someone’s day. In addition, I guarantee you will get an emotional lift from giving.

This is just one option. There are plenty of other little things we can do to be just a little kinder to each other. We can disagree without being hurtful and on the attack. We can prevent animosity from becoming the norm.

I think there’s been too much hate and it’s time to spread the love one cup of coffee at a time. Hopefully, this small act will spread to larger acts of kindness and respectful treatment of each other.

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