FRESH OUT OF KINDNESS

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Try a Little Kindness by Glen Campbell

 

Kindness must be out of vogue. In the contentious political climate, it seems that the nastiest candidates get the most kudos. In this increasingly dangerous world, it feels like gun-toting thugs are taking over. Even in our day-to-day lives, angry disgruntlers honk at drivers, snarl at store clerks, and file lawsuits against neighbors. Negative energy pervades.

The other night I was watching the news, absently flipping through a clothing catalog when I stumbled upon a groovy looking t-shirt emblazoned with “KINDNESS MATTERS”. The shirt struck me as particularly poignant at that moment because a reporter was narrating a video of a man who was punched out in front of a convenience store in Chicago. As the man splayed unconscious on the street, a few bystanders picked his pockets and walked away. Then a taxi ran over the man without stopping, and it took several minutes for someone to call 911. The whole ordeal was painful to watch. How can people be so heartless? Granted, the incident took place at 4:00 in the morning – when nothing good ever happens – but still. Mean is mean, inebriation be damned.

Suddenly I really needed that t-shirt to spread the kindness message! I went on the website but was informed that my tee was no longer available. Curses. Well at least there are other geeks out there who also believe in kindness. And yet – I want that shirt! I checked the website for a couple of days hoping someone returned one, making it magically available again – to no avail. It was silly how disappointed I was about a t-shirt; it felt strangely important to wear that message. But of course it couldn’t be just any old “Kindness Matters” tee – it had to be chic, especially since kindness seems to be so unfashionable lately.

All that changed today as I was waiting at the dentist office. A pretty woman walked in wearing a t-shirt that said “Kindness is always in style.” Nice – maybe kindness will be like the new black. I watched her as she checked in for her appointment, which turned out to be next week instead of today. Upon hearing this, the woman began to berate the receptionist for making a mistake. Her prettiness twisted into a sneer while her shirt morphed into a mockery. And just like that, I was so over my covetous desire for that groovy tee in the catalog. What’s the point of wearing a mantra if you can’t be a shining example of it?

The notion of kindness – at first blush – comes off as a Polyanna antiquation in this competitive world. But look past the blush, and you’ll see it’s the truly confident individuals who bestow niceties. It’s the strongest people who can respond to insults with a compassionate turn of the cheek. It’s brave to be kind. Feeding malice with love and mercy is far more powerful than strong-arming.

And living the message is infinitely grander than wearing it.

 

 

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ana Meehan
    Apr 23, 2016 @ 23:47:59

    Very nice Jana!

    Reply

  2. Jennifer Mapson
    Apr 24, 2016 @ 03:04:44

    Love this Jana!

    Reply

  3. Paul Mortensen
    Apr 24, 2016 @ 15:48:08

    Right on Shupe!!

    Reply

  4. Tom Aplin
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 00:31:56

    Great message! And the bonus for me was listening to that Glen Campbell song that used to play on our 8 track on those epic Colorado River trips back in the 80’s. Good memories.

    Reply

  5. Fred Hughes
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 03:28:38

    Wonderful stuff.

    Reply

  6. Sharon Burke
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 12:52:12

    Really good post, Jana!

    Reply

  7. Penny Rammer
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 20:16:53

    I just love this post .. This is why I love you my friend … Xoxo

    Penny Rammer – Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply

  8. Teresa Schutzman
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 20:23:55

    Hear hear! A reminder to us all. Thanks.

    >

    Reply

  9. Mary Donnelly
    Apr 29, 2016 @ 14:59:08

    Great post! So true… Thank you Jana ! xo

    Reply

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