Kindness is a choice of the will. A husband and father from Wilmington, Delaware, habitually chooses to demonstrate kindness to those around him. And while he doesn’t do it to be recognized, his bighearted service does not go unnoticed.
Every time it snows—which can be quite often in a Delaware winter—Brian Dignen shovels his driveway and walkway. He doesn’t stop there, however.
Without fail, Brian, who works as a manager in the food industry, can be seen carrying his shovel from his home to the next, and then to the next—shoveling his neighbors’ snow-covered driveways and walkways as well.
“He doesn’t do it for recognition,” his wife, Holly Dignen, tells The Epoch Times. “He doesn’t do it for money. He just does it because he is a good human.”
It seems that shoveling snowy driveways is not where Brian’s kindness ends. His adoring wife describes him as a truly “good-hearted person” who “prides himself on doing things right if they’re worth doing.” And helping people is worth doing.
Holly says that her husband is the first to lend his time and his hand when someone needs help moving; he is thoughtful and proactive about the needs of family members, and he is quick to bestow a ceaseless stream of selfless gestures, big and small.
She recounts how he has helped her mother take down Christmas ornaments on New Year’s Day, or helped family members find items they need. In her blog Mommy Dignen Diaries, the admiring wife even recounts a time when her husband protected a Walgreen’s employee from a thief by holding him against a wall until the police arrived—because it was the “right thing to do.”
Not least, Brian is a loving husband and an exemplary father to two “humorous, empathetic, and intelligent” boys, aged 7 and 2.
“My husband and I aren’t perfect. We have been through plenty of turbulence in our relationship,” she said. “However, our love is very strong and we always work together to make sure our boys see us as good parents, good spouses, and good humans.
“I feel proud and honored to be married to such a wonderful person. He is exactly who I want our boys to look up to as the man of our house. He embodies love and respect.”
And just as Holly has hoped, the couple’s two young boys are already emulating the unassuming kindness and service that Brian exemplifies.
Holly says their 7-year-old, aptly named Brian Jr., is “very caring and always wants to help others.” It is not uncommon for the young boy to surprise friends and families with gifts he has made, or to pay special attention to those who are sick. The youngest boy, at age 2, regularly rushes to help his dad carry groceries into the house.
“They have learned that when you choose to do something for someone else, it isn’t so that you get recognized, it’s because it’s right. My older son understands that at this age,” Dignen said.
That kind of understanding is gained by instruction and example—and the Dignen boys are wealthy in both. While Holly says that the family is not rich, the parents know that their time, instruction, and examples are valuable treasures to be passed on to their children.
“You don’t have to have a lot of money to be a good person and help others,” Dignen wrote in the story she submitted to Love What Matters. “In fact, from my experience, it seems that genuinely good people help out somehow, even when they are in need.”
And that is exactly the pattern that the Dignen boys are observing from their father every day—an example that is a promising deposit paid on kindness to be shown in the future.
“Our main goal as parents is to raise good human beings. The only way to do that efficiently is to be good human beings,” Holly told The Epoch Times.