The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Spotlight: A Little Bit of Kindness Goes a Long Way

Jim Clayton, Quill Reporter

In 1969 Glen Campbell released his top ten song, Try a Little Kindness. Some of the lyrics are very telling of what kindness should be;

Don't walk around the down and out

Lend a helping hand instead of doubt

And the kindness that you show every day.Will help someone along their way.

Many would ask where that type of kindness has gone.

A few years ago there was a campaign which prompted people to commit random acts of kindness. There is even a recent TV commercial depicting people doing nice things for one another which leads to a chain reaction of kindness.

We don't see enough of that type of behavior. It happens and the people who are genuinely kind often go unnoticed because they are not seeking praise.

There are many famous quotes relating to the subject, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Or, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

And, unfortunately, kindness doesn't sell. People want the intense, the exciting, and even the morbid and the press and Hollywood and many other forms of media gear their formatting to fit those demands. Kindness may be included, but it is typically not the main feature.

Right here in La Harpe, we have an act of kindness that has been happening right under our noses and most of us don't even know about it. Well some of the culprits are going to be exposed.

Last November, city police officer Erik Krekel was involved in a very serious automobile accident. He was required to undergo extensive reconstructive hip surgery which left him with 8 screws and a plate being inserted.

"I am full of metal," says Krekel, "But the doctor told me I wouldn't set off metal detectors at airports because it is a very lightweight alloy of some type that would not be picked up.

As a result of this situation, Krekel has not been able to work and the medical bills have been piling up.

There was a benefit for him, but still the bills keep coming. His insurance covers very little of the expenses incurred so he was facing the possibility of really being in dire straits financially.

But, through a series of events involving the Mayor of La Harpe, Ken Brown, the town counsel, and the collective kindness of local law enforcement Krekel's financial burden has been greatly relieved.

With the approval of the counsel and the mayor, members of the La Harpe Police Department and the Hancock County Sheriff's Department have been filling Krekel's shifts on a voluntary basis and he has still been able to receive a paycheck because of this sacrificial act.

Police Chief Justin Livingston was quick to point out, as were at least two others who did not want to go on record, "We are doing this to help a friend and fellow officer, not for public recognition. We have all been taking extra shifts with the approval of the mayor and the counsel to make sure Erik has what he needs."

Brown stated, "The shifts are getting covered at no expense to the city or county. I am really glad this is getting some attention. I think this a really great thing these guys are doing. It is a good story."

Krekel is expected to fully recover and will find out on his next doctor's visit what his limitations may be. "I am off my crutches, and the doctor told me to push myself, within reason. I just go until it hurts and then I stop," said Krekel.

He will be riding in a squad car for the first time on the 10th of this month, as a passenger in Livingston's vehicle. He does not know what to expect, but when asked what he would like to say to his fellow officers he said, "I just want to say a heartfelt thank you."

As he thinks about how the kindness of his fellow officers that have given him some "help along the way", Krekel might even be singing the refrain of Campbell's song as he rides;

You got to try a little kindness:Yes show a little kindness:Just shine your light for everyone to see:And if you try a little kindness:Then you'll overlook the blindness:Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets."