Music and the Spoken Word: If you want to ‘pay it forward,’ here are some ways to create a chain of kindness

Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given March 10, 2019.

Each season of the year brings new weather, different challenges and fresh opportunities for those who open their eyes and heart.

In winter, the challenges and opportunities often come in the form of a snowstorm. One man always shovels the snow off several of his neighbors' sidewalks before he takes care of his own. Why? He says that it makes him happy the rest of the day to do something for someone else. Two of these neighbors, a couple for whom shoveling is somewhat difficult, feel especially grateful for his willingness to help. In return, they bake cookies to share with their neighbors — and that makes them happy the rest of the day. Inspired by the homemade treats, other neighbors find their own ways to keep the kindness and happiness going.

We've all experienced the wonderful way both givers and receivers are blessed when people help each other. So often, the receiver of help is prompted to become the giver of help to others. The chain of kindness continues to link people and spread warmth — even on cold and snowy days.

How grateful we are for those who don't stop at their own front door or sidewalk. Such good-hearted people make the world a better place by doing something unexpected for others. It doesn't take much: a little thoughtfulness, a little time, a little heart. One person visits those who he knows may be lonely. Another sends thank-you notes to people who have touched her life. Another always plans for a few extra servings whenever preparing a meal, so there's something to share. And still another takes time to really listen. All do their part to start or continue a chain of kindness. In the process, they find connection and friendship. Helping others often leads to meaningful relationships that bring joy and satisfaction all throughout life.

The seasons come and go, but opportunities to serve are always with us. In the timeless words of Martin Luther King Jr., "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" (In "The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.," compiled by Coretta Scott King). Helping others is always in season.

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM,, KSL X-stream, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, BYU-TV International, CBS Radio Network, Dish Network, DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Channel 143) and on the Tabernacle Choir's website and YouTube channel. The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at