The Value of Kindness

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It’s been a bit of a rough week for me, so I wanted to take a little time to focus on something positive in the midst of the insanity the world has become.  In the midst of a global pandemic, the kind of situation that should bring us all together for the common good, there are still so many instances of injustice, systemic and individual, in my country that it makes me heart sick.

I don’t want to spend my time ranting or focusing on individual injustices or acts of hatred and violence.  But I do want to talk a little bit about kindness.

I think of kindness as the universal religious principal.  Whether you’re talking about the pagan three-fold law, the golden rule that appears in major religions, or any number of other religious organizations or dogmas, you can boil most religions I’m aware of down to a single shared principal.  Be kind.  Be kind to others, be kind to yourself, and be kind to the world.

Yes, this is a huge oversimplification of religion.  I know that.  And I don’t mean to be insulting to any one religion (or any of them at all) by making it.  I’m just drawing a comparison.  Whatever the specifics may be, in the end, religion teaches us to be kind to ourselves and others.

This week, it’s felt a little bit like my country has forgotten that.  It’s not the only country with hate problems, but it certainly feels like a very big problem.  This isn’t new.  The problem has been around a lot longer than I have, but it’s really hit home this week.  I know that there are many people working against the hate and injustice and I admire and appreciate them so much.

I don’t have a grand solution, but I know that if each individual human took the time to think about their action in the context of kindness, things might get just a little better.

Kindness can mean a lot of things.  It can mean assuming good intentions.  It can mean forgiving mistakes.  It can mean not complaining about a small inconvenience to yourself that will help save the life of another.  It can mean offering a smile and a thank you to every worker you come into contact with.  It can mean sharing your wealth (in the broader, beyond just money sense) with the world and with others.  It can mean reaching out a helping hand.

Kindness is such a simple thing.  I just wish there was a whole lot more of it in the world right now.