Photo Credit: Rodney Margison © 2017
Disgraceful. Shameful. Shocking. Improper. Immoral.
This post could easily be a rant about the scandalous state of our nation at this point in history. But my intent with this project is to induce introspection and thought, not alienate those with polar opposite opinions.
Instead, I will broach what I feel is at the epicenter of the division: a scandalous lack of kindness.
I’m not being a narcissistic know-it-all who thinks she’s above being unkind. At a concert recently, I mumbled a desire to kick the person in front of me off the balcony, and then barked at a man behind me who spilled beer on my jacket. My behavior was scandalous.
As the man and I grumbled about each other, I turned around and was suddenly struck by a truth: I was mean—and wrong. My husband had warned me to move my jacket just minutes before. Had I done so, the man wouldn’t have struggled for the cupholder and spilled the beer.
I immediately turned around and apologized, explaining how I was at fault and had responded inappropriately. He was already so furious that my words didn’t matter. Despite several attempts to explain and apologize, he wasn’t listening. I had missed my opportunity to be kind.
However, I didn’t kick the person off the balcony, so I count that as an almost-win.
How often do we treat each other with a total lack of compassion or kindness or civility? It’s so much easier now with the anonymity and broad reach of social media. I read through comments on political posts and I’m shocked by the shameful way we use our words to cut down other people. It’s scandalous.
I look at the vortex of issues consuming our world today and am convinced that kindness would resolve most. If we were kind instead of judgmental, if we were kind instead of superior, if we were kind instead of entitled, if we were kind instead of exclusive, we could change the trajectory of our current societal and political climate.
If we would be kind to people who don’t look like us or act like us or believe as we do or love like we do, but instead, respect that we’re all human beings, deserving of equal treatment, how would that change the world?
Though it seems too large a change to make, it begins with one act of kindness, followed by another, followed by another.
And it could simply begin with, “Hey, no worries, man. It was an accident.”