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Wednesday cannon fodder: small acts of kindness

AUSTRALIA-KOALA-ANIMAL-FIRE Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images

If you weren’t aware, wildfires have been ravaging Australia since September. At least 24 people have died in the blazes scattered across the country, including three volunteer firefighters. More than 15 million acres of land has burned and that number is increasing; the link above has good visualizations of the extent of the catastrophe. Some estimates put the number of animals killed by the fires over 1 billion. Words like horrible, tragic, and heartbreaking do not begin to capture what is happening. I’m not sure we have adequate words in our language.

And yet in all the horror, sometimes the best in us shines through. People from all walks of life, from celebrities on down to children, are helping to raise money and awareness. Even adult entertainers are doing their part.

Australians are searching for wildlife, loading them into their cars, and taking them to shelters.

World Central Kitchen, well-known chef José Andrés’ nonprofit, has been on the ground in Australia helping feed volunteers and people displaced by the fires. WCK also deployed to Puerto Rico in response to the series of earthquakes that struck there yesterday.

In what can seem like an ever-darkening world, it’s critical that we try to find a bit of light. When we do, we need to magnify that light so it might illuminate everyone. We need to look out for each other - whether it’s people in our own backyard, elsewhere in our country, or halfway around the globe.

My challenge to you is to do something to make our world a better place today. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be as simple as telling someone about WCK or any of the other fantastic organizations on the front lines in Australia so that, hopefully they tell someone else, and on and on. Or you could compliment a friend on something you might not normally appreciate in them. Random acts of kindness may not seem like much, but they cost even less, and they add up. So let’s put some good out there today.