CYPRESS, Texas — Kindness matters. In fact, it can make all the difference in a world that can feel so cruel.
If anyone knows the power of kindness, it’s the Knight family in Cypress. They lost their son, Elijah, in a freak accident in 2018.
If there was ever a reason not to be kind, losing a child would be it. But these Texans are helping Texans by choosing grace, joy and love.
With blue eyes as deep as Texas and a heart bursting at the seams, “he had an effect on people, to bring out the best in them,” Stephen Knight said of his oldest child.
Elijah Knight was this saxophone playing, cross-country running boy scout who dreamed of a better world for everyone.
“He was the spark that got us all laughing, to tears, around the dinner table,” said Knight, “and he came up with a phrase that became his legacy: start everything with kindness and everything will be okay.”
Elijah died in 2018 while away at a summer camp in Georgia.
“On the first full day, we got the call that no one ever wants to get and found out that a storm had blown in and a tree fell on a tent that Elijah and some of his friends were in.”
Their 14-year old was the only one killed.
“And we would trade the entire world and any good that could come in losing our son just to have him back,” said Knight.
He can’t bring his son back, so he’s choosing two things instead.
“Kindness and action, because you need both of them, together, to make a meaningful impact on the world," Knight said.
KindnessToAction.org is a non-profit born out of Elijah’s dream.
It’s first project is to celebrate kindness. 5,000 brand new challenge coins read: “start everything with kindness, and the end will be okay.” Each one is uniquely numbered so it can be registered online with a photo or write-up of the good deed.
“And we all, as a community, get to see these works of kindness popping up all over the world, on this map," Elijah's dad explained.
100 coins just went out across Texas even more are waiting in the wings. Online, you can request a free coin to honor someone or become a kindness ambassador and celebrate any good deed you see. Re-gifting is encouraged.
“And on the website, we’ll actually get to track the movement of that coin as it travels the world," Knight said.
What a way to view the world for the kindness that exists.
“Maybe we’ll all arrive at some place better, together.”
Elijah Knight was as curious as they come. An inventor who loved to take things apart, just to put them back together. Whether it’s his family’s heart or our community’s spirit, “start everything with kindness and the end will be okay.”
That just might very well be true.