For The Children Weekly Column

“Kindness 101” Good for the Soul and the World Around Us

October 23, 2023



Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117


OKLAHOMA CITY – I usually start each weekday morning by flipping channels on the four main networks to catch up on local and state news, then continue that during the time I have before work.

One of my favorite segments to catch is “Kindness 101” on CBS. In these times when there is too much negativity, this recurring conversation with Steve Hartman and his young children, Meryl, and Emmett, takes a different positive word and shares a story tied around it.

It certainly does me a world of good to start a Monday watching this before diving into the world of child advocacy, which can certainly wear a person down if not careful. The website to watch these segments can be found at: and I certainly encourage you to take the time to go watch one or two if you are having a rough day.

On the first segment shown on the website, Mr. Hartman indicates that he wants kindness to go viral, a “global wave of kindness.”  Whether it be a person offering free haircuts to the homeless and showing that someone sees them, a bus driver who becomes a role model for the students on his route who often do not have a father, or someone who spends his early mornings before work sitting on a park bench simply listening to stories people want to share, the tales Hartman shares demonstrate the good that is being performed across this nation. 

One story even has ties to Oklahoma. The segment discussed self-improvement and told the story about Ed, a World War II veteran from Cookson who learned to read at 90 years old. He was not even able to read the words on the medals he received for his service. Through the years, co-workers and his wife helped him through his tasks.

Eventually, a professor at Northeastern State University was the latest in a line of people who tried to help Ed learn to read. She assisted him accomplish his goal of reading a complete book; his first was a story about George Washington.

We all need stories of good in our lives to help overcome the things which would tear us down. Over the past few months, I have seen three good people in Oklahoma pass who each did much for the world around them. Here is a little about each.

Dr. Dwight Sublett was a pediatrician who worked to educate policymakers and citizens alike about health-related issues in our state. Brian Zalewski wore many hats – fire chief, firefighter, paramedic, nurse, reserve deputy – and worked to improve policies to support those public servants who he called brothers and sisters in service.

Raymond Rust was a businessman from my hometown who started his life of adventures as an FFA instructor, and then banker, Realtor, and businessman who grew his company to employ dozens from our hometown. Along the way, Raymond assisted those around him, including me as I grew up, as he knew a strong community of people built a strong community in which to live. One of his last acts was to buy a newspaper subscription for each student in our local high school so they could know about our community.

All you have to do is look around and you will see the good in the world. If you are not finding those acts of kindness, maybe it is time to assess what you can do to fill that void. Thank you to Steve Hartman and his children for making it a little easier for us to start each week, and as they say at the end of each, “Stay kind.”