They say a simple act of kindness can create a ripple effect that multiplies its power tremendously. Dr. Don Rice of the Urgent Care Clinic of Lincoln, Nebraska surely thinks so. Last Monday, the kind doctor made a compassionate gesture by taking care of the medical bills for his patients.
Here’s what inspired him to do it.
Random Acts of Kindness Day
February 17th is a celebrated National Random Acts of Kindness Day that has enjoyed increased popularity in recent years. The goal is to inspire and encourage acts of kindness, however small they may be, so we all contribute to introducing more positivity in society. Every year organizations, groups, and individuals take part in commemorating this special day. And this year, a kind-hearted doctor also decided to join in the celebration.
A Card Instead of a Medical Bill
The doc spent around $4,000 on the 80 patients who stopped by the clinic on the special day. When they came into the reception desk, instead of getting a medical bill they had to pay, patients got a small card explaining the reason for their free hospital visit. The message ended with the #KindnessIsContagious hashtag to serve as a reminder that acts of kindness have two sides – giving and receiving.
The Inspiration Behind It
Dr. Rice reportedly decided to do this act of kindness as a way of commemorating the death of a friend who had a kind heart and was always there to help others despite suffering from two different types of cancer. In an interview Dr. Rice gave, he said, “I think that we have a culture that sometimes forgets that we can have a much better world if we start being kinder to each other.” So, why wait for the next Random Acts of Kindness Day to do something good for another person? We can all start today!
When Two Irish Men Went Fishing, They Never Expected To Find This
Many species have come and gone over the years, but what do you do when you come face to face with something you never knew existed?
Just Another Trip
Charlie Coyle and Raymond McElroy were the two men in question. The pair were in for an early rise when they boarded the boat at 4 am to head out onto Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland. It looked as though it was going to be just another fishing trip for the men. Little did they know, but there was a surprise that had been waiting all these years at the bottom of the lake, and it was about to surface.
They Have Been Doing it For Years
Why would this trip be different from any of the other ones that Charlie and Raymond have embarked on over the years? These two good friends love nothing more than getting up early in the morning and catching the very best fish that Lough Neagh has to offer. They have had a lot of success over the years and have provided for their local community for quite some time. However, nothing could prepare them for what they were about to find.
A Huge Attraction
There are many things that attract tourists and fishers to Lough Neagh. One of the many pulls is the huge population of pollan fish, a species only found in five lakes in Ireland, as well as many other species. That’s not all. The lake also covers a staggering 151-square-miles altogether and provides Northern Ireland with around 40% of its water. To top it off, Lough Neagh is also the largest body of freshwater found in the U.K.
An Absolute Goldmine
One thing is for sure – Lough Neagh has benefited Charlie and Raymond heavily due to the amount of fish in these parts. Eel fishing is a huge industry in this part of the world and many fisheries hear export to restaurants all across the globe. The likes of Seamus Heaney has written about the lake’s fishing history. As a result, Charlie and Raymond have made a living over the years catching the freshest and tastiest fish in the country. However, this day took a different turn.
No Luck Today
It turns out the lake isn’t just impressive from the surface; it’s also been holding onto a huge secret all these years. Charlie and Raymond believed they were heading out to bring home a fresh catch of the day but were really about to learn what had lain hidden beneath the water all these years. Sady, the fishermen hadn’t caught much that day. It was a pretty unsuccessful trip and so they decided to put away their rods and call it a day.
They weren’t used to coming away practically empty-handed. But here they were, without much to celebrate for their efforts and all they could do was turn around and head back. They decided it was time to go home and get some much-deserved rest. It was a miserable journey back and they hadn’t felt such disappointment in a long time. That was until they tried to raise the nets and the beginning of an incredible chapter in their lives began.
The Cause Of The Problem
They got to one of the last nets and their work was almost over. However, they were presented with quite the problem and they had no idea what was the cause of it. The net in question was stuck to the bottom and was extremely tough to pull out. Charlie and Raymond knew there must be something below. After all, the lake was filled with old trees and other debris. But they simply couldn’t get it out.
They Pulled With All Their Might
Charlie and Raymond got increasingly frustrated by this and were convinced that they’d never get the net in question out of the water. However, they dug deep and pulled with all of their might to make it happen. They had to work for five to ten minutes before they could finally lift the net to the surface. It was then that Charlie and Raymond got to see what had been causing the issue.
Coming To The Surface
As the net emerged to the surface, Raymond thought they had pulled up an old piece of tree or something that had been discarded into the lake. That was, until the pair saw a head protrude from the water. This was no tree. In fact, Charlie and Raymond immediately knew there was something much greater in their fishing net after all. Although Charlie thought he knew what it was, Raymond exclaimed that it must be the devil.
What Could This Possibly Be?
There was no denying that Raymond and Charlie were shocked by what they saw. Initially, they couldn’t make up their mind of exactly what it was. So many questions were racing through their heads. Where had it come from? How had it got here? What was it made out of? They were simply stumped by this remarkable discovery. Then, they started to think about the myths and legends they had heard over the years surrounding this majestic lake.
There have been many mythical stories surrounding the lake over the years. Some of the many tales speak of how the lake was created and might be some of the reasons Charlie and Raymond were so confused. One myth speaks of Finn McCool, an Irish warrior from thousands of years ago. It’s said the brave fighter was battling a giant from Scotland and needed a way to protect his land from the intruder. That’s when Finn had an idea.
Creating Two Wonders
It’s said that Finn reached down into the Earth and grabbed a handful of the land. He then used this to throw at the giant, and it landed in the Irish Sea to form the Isle of Man. The hole that was left behind then supposedly filled with water and eventually became Lough Neath. Although there have been many tales over the years, it seems as though no one knows the true origins of the lake after all.
Perhaps fishing conjures up images of a fresh fish dinner? While many believe they will be coming home with a haul, fishing can usually just turn up old boots and rusty cans. However, these fishermen were about to make the ultimate catch of the day when they stumbled upon the skull of an enormous beast.
A Staggering Find
Thankfully, it turned out that Charlie and Raymond’s find was no mythical beast – or anything to do with the devil. In fact, it wasn’t long before the fishermen discovered the skull once belonged to an Irish elk. This was an incredible find for anyone, as the animals had been extinct in the area for thousands of years. This means the remains would have been lying undiscovered at the bottom of the lake all this time. That was, until now. But that wasn’t the end of their story…
The fisherman had been fishing in an area of the lake known as The Thorns. As well as the murky waters of the lough, it seems as though this area also has plenty of blurred stories about its surroundings. Many believe the thorn trees have strong magical powers. It’s said they can control even the most sensible of people and cause plenty of misfortune. Could it have been the trees that were making Charlie and Raymond see things?
It turned out there were no myths about this creature – and now Charlie and Raymond had the skull to prove it was real. The pair were both taken back by the sheer size of their find at the antlers measured in at 8 feet wide. However, it looked as though there was some confusion about the discovery. Although the animal once lived all across Ireland, many know it by other names, including the Irish giant deer. Just what had they found?
The Unusual Name
Amazingly, it seems as though the name Irish elk might be a red herring after all. The animal was reported to have once lived all across Eurasia, including areas of Siberia and China. However, the creature earned the Irish tag thanks to the many remains that have been found all across the country over the years. In fact, Ballybetagh Bog in Dublin has turned up more than 100 individuals alone, with more coming from far and wide.
A New Species
The Irish elk’s name isn’t the only misleading part of its story; it turns out that it’s not even an elk or a moose. So just what is true about this magnificent creature? Well, scientists now believe it is part of an entirely new species. The Irish elk’s genetic makeup means there is no way it’s related to the modern day equivalents, and it was the antlers and look of the beast that had people so confused.
Plenty Of Confusion
Remains of the extinct creature were first discovered back in the 17th and 18th centuries before people were yet to learn of the theory of evolution or about extinction. Many believed the fossils were from a giant moose, while others thought they could be from a European reindeer. People were yet to invent the tech that would be able to tell them they were looking at a new species altogether. For years, the Irish elk never earned its place in time.
Learning To Adapt
Many researchers believe the Irish elk can be traced back to around 400,000 years ago. The animal would have therefore been alive during one of the Ice Ages and learned to adapt to the cold, harsh environment of the planet. It was during this time that it’s thought the Irish elk spread across most of Europe. Amazingly, before they became extinct, these animals stood up to 6 feet 10 inches tall and were probably the heaviest Old World deer.
A Sizable Beast
It’s not just their size that was impressive; it’s the Irish elk’s antlers that really got people talking over the years. While Charlie and Raymond’s find measured in at eight feet, it’s shown these creatures could have antlers grow up to 12 feet wide from tip to tip. Amazingly, the antlers often weighed around 88 pounds on their own. Together, it’s thought Irish Elks could usually tip the scales at more than 1,300 pounds once they were fully grown.
The End Of The Line
Although they were once everywhere across the nation, researchers believe Irish elks became extinct in the country around 10,000 years ago. Ever since, they have discovered remains that are thought to be around 11,750 years old to learn about the animals. Irish elks didn’t go extinct in Siberia until approximately 3,000 years later where it’s believed their huge antlers played a role in their downfall. Maybe they’re not quite so impressive after all?
The Bigger, The Better
Like many modern creatures with antlers, it’s thought the Irish elk once used theirs to attract mates and fight off any competition. Unlike horns, antlers are made from bone and shed off at the end of each season only to grow back every year. As their bodies got larger, so did their antlers that returned with every new growth. Many Irish elk tried their hardest to produce the biggest and most impressive rack of antlers in the area.
Unfortunately, it was the size of their antlers that meant the Irish elk became extinct. Climate change meant many forests soon grew all across the land. Their oversized antlers were no longer built for the landscape, as the animals could no longer eat properly or travel around the area. It wasn’t long until they became fully extinct. However, having smaller antlers just put them at risk of falling victim to cold-related illnesses. which would cause them to pass away.
Finding A Home
Many people from all around the world were impressed to see the size of the skull that had been dragged up from Lough Neath. In fact, they were so overwhelmed that many wanted to own the piece as part of their own collection. On the other hand, many feel as though the article should be donated to a museum and preserved as part of history. However, it’s Charlie and Raymond’s decision as to what happens to their find…
A Lot Of Attention
Both Charlie and Raymond admit they have no idea what to do with their find. Sure, it’s a pretty impressive piece, but it’s also quite the space invader. However, many researchers have stated how it’s nearly impossible to find a skull that is so well-preserved, as well as so intact, as this one. Maybe that’s how so many people have become interested in the discovery? It certainly has led to plenty of offers from all around the world…
A New Lease On Life
Charlie and Raymond have both expressed how they want to find a way for people from across the world to see the skull and enjoy its beauty, and not keep it for themselves. That’s why the fisherman have rejected many offers they have received. It might have been buried at the bottom of the lake all those years, but Charlie and Raymond hope the Irish elk can now have an entirely new lease on life. So what would they decide?
Earning Its Place
Many have rumored that the skull is set to become part of an exhibition at a museum. This way, the animal can stay close to its homeland while getting to show off its impressive size. Mike Simms from the Ulster Museum is hoping that he will be offered the chance to see the exhibit after learning how well intact it still is. Even after 10,000 years at the bottom of Lough Neath, this Irish elk is still able to turn heads.