Time flies. When my wife Jamie and I moved to the city in 2011, I never thought I would have the honor of writing the Mayor’s Message for Coconut Creek Lifestyle. It is a true privilege to serve the residents of Coconut Creek as mayor. Since 2015, I have been proud to represent Coconut Creek in numerous places around the county and country.

I will use this time to, hopefully, capture our residents’ attention to relay a specific message in each of my articles. This month’s message is a simple one: kindness. I was recently a panelist on a forum with Laura Reiss, founder and president of the [Florida-based nonprofit] Samaritans365 Foundation and a self-proclaimed leader of kindness.

Her message was simple: Kindness Matters. This modest statement resonated with me, which is why I have the need to share it with all of you. Laura’s passion to give back and inspire others to do the same was inspired by her kind parents and fueled by her commitment to raise her three children with compassion, gratitude and kindness.

The Golden Rule is one of the first things that my 5-year-old daughter learned. It’s something that everyone reading this knows, but it’s also something that can easily be forgotten: treat others how you want to be treated. People are at odds with each other in the world today. I see arguments on Facebook, the news and in real life. We have become more focused on electronic devices than on each other. Regardless of how small we may think we are, we can make a positive change in our community. We can do that by being kind—saying something nice to a coworker, holding a door, sending a thoughtful message, bringing your neighbor’s garbage can up a driveway, smiling at someone or appreciating the person who never gets appreciated. These are small acts that go a long way with the person receiving the gesture.

We are all meant to be different in this world. Instead of focusing on the perceived negatives, we should focus on how those differences make us unique. It actually makes for a better community. I want to live in a world where, through kind actions, we can inspire others to do the same.

We are truly blessed to have an amazing community in Coconut Creek, which is why I offer each person reading this a challenge. Do something kind for someone in our community, and, remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. Are you with me?

Learn more about Reiss and the Samaritans365 Foundation at samaritans365.org.


Mayor Joshua Rydell was born in Buffalo, New York; he moved to Florida after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Delaware. He moved to Broward County and attended Nova Southeastern University where he received his Juris Doctorate Degree. Rydell is principal attorney with The Law Offices of Joshua D. Rydell, with a focus in criminal and civil litigation as well as administrative professional representations.