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.

Where I’m From 2018 Edition

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Every year since I started the blog, I’ve done a new version of the below poem.  It comes from a template I found, and you can read my original post explaining it here.  You can also fine the past versions of the poem for 2017, 2016, and 2015.

Happy New Year to all of you, I hope you enjoy my poem.

Where I’m From: 2018 Edition

I am from college rule spiral notebooks, from Post-It Notes and Gelly Roll pens.

I am from the cluttered, nerdy, purr-filled apartment.

I am from the philodendron, the Christmas cactus.

I am from too much food at holidays and fluffy fly-away hair, from Catherine and Cameron and Carol.

I am from talking with your hands and getting loud when excited.

From watch where you’re going and don’t talk with your mouth full.

I am from wooden crosses and candles.  Nature, labyrinths, thuribles, and simple wooden buildings.

I’m from Monroeville and Scotland, pumpkin rolls and scotcheroos.

From the crib mattress on the floor and laying there crying because it never occurred to me to get up and find my parents, the bemusement of my mother, and the crib escape tendencies of my sister.

I am from magazine holders, hard drives, and university archives.  Historical records of town foundings, fondly remembered outings, goofy Halloween costumes, and cherished memories of first dates and weddings.

The Importance of Being Me

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A lot of things have changed in my life over the past few years.

A lot of it is small things, but there are some big ones too.  I changed jobs two years ago, which was an awesome move for me and I still love my (not so) new job, but it’s still a big change and adjustment.  I’ve moved again, which is a level of stressful above pretty much anything else I could ever do.  And lately, we’ve been working on setting the apartment up better with the furniture we actually need (I now own eleven bookcases, eight of them six feet or taller).  So a lot of things have been shifting and moving in my life.

This can make me reflective.

What I’ve been thinking about most recently, is the importance of being me. Continue reading

T is for Truth: Stranger than Fiction and Twice as Weird

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If you stumbled upon me through the A to Z Blog Challenge, welcome.  If not, check out the challenge and all those participating at their site.

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For today’s strange thing, I will be talking about truth.

Truth is strange in a number of different ways.  There’s the “truth is stranger than fiction” saying that is born out quite often.  There’s also the methods by which we define truth.  And then there’s the various ways that the truth is used and conceptualized.

We’ll start with the most fun one.  Truth is stranger than fiction. Continue reading