Kindness Does Matter

DSC00725This week, I have woken up in the middle of the night with thoughts and worries.  Much has been on my mind since so much has changed so quickly.  It is making my head spin.  I have also been thinking about the fact that our society is now so rude and no longer tolerant of those who don’t agree with us.

Contrary to what is seen on social media now and on television, kindness and respect matter.  Differences of opinion without being threatened matter.  A free press and chance to speak out matter.  Our constitution and promise that all men are created equal matter.  Helping each other and loving our fellow men and women matter.

When did it happen that these things no longer matter?  I don’t remember but it is on full display now.  And, it is so ugly. This way of thinking has been brewing and building for a long time and sadly has continued.  It is from all sides of the issues.  We can do better than this.  We must do better than this for our children and for each other.

I had the amazing opportunity of growing up in a diverse family.  We all didn’t think alike, believe alike, love alike, talk alike, or act alike.  You know what?  It didn’t matter since we still loved each other.  We were family and that mattered more than our differences.  Not to say there weren’t heated arguments and hurt feelings because there were.

The difference was and still is that we have apologized, tried to repair the relationship, and worked on healing.  We listened to each other in order to learn where each other was coming from.  We took the time to find out another side of an argument.  And most importantly we didn’t try to shame one another into believing as we did.  That skill seems to be gone today.

Instead we are on edge before a conversation even starts.  Instead both those on the left and those on the right are trying to one up each other and scream at each other that the other’s belief is wrong.  Is that how we’d want children to act?  Would we put up with it from them?  If not, why are we with each other?  I just don’t understand.

How will things change and improve for our entire country and all of our citizens if we can’t even have a debate without yelling and screaming at each other and calling one another names?  I wasn’t allowed to do that as a child and my husband and I don’t want our son to do that either.  Yet, many adults do so each day.

Another thing that concerns me and that is hard to explain to our son is all of the blatant and outright lies being told by people in leadership and those speaking for them.  That too has been going on for far too long and needs to stop.  As I told someone yesterday, I don’t like lying from any side and never have.

And, just because someone says something over and over and over again doesn’t make it true.  Facts are facts.  We may not like them but by their definition, that is what they are.  I don’t understand why people seem to not understand that and believe the lies as truths.  That has not made sense to me for a long, long time.

I also think that blind devotion in anything can be dangerous.  I think that we should ask questions, we should investigate, we should learn, we should discern, and we should pray and/or meditate.  We shouldn’t be told how to think or what to think.

I told our son something this week I never thought I would say, “Just because you hear an adult say something doesn’t make it true.  Mom and Dad will talk with you about any and all questions that you have and things you don’t understand.”  As he gets older, he will have to discern for himself.

I just hope and pray that we have taught him enough about morals, ethics, kindness, love, forgiveness, empathy, and tolerance that he can stand on his own two feet.  And, to standup for what he believes in without tearing someone else down.  We still have so much to teach as well as to learn from him.  Isn’t that an amazing blessing?

There is so much more I could write about and probably will in the coming days.  Until then, I will keep praying, studying, watching, listening, and discerning what I see, read, and hear.  My prayer is that you too will do the same.

I will continue to work with my husband in teaching our son the values that we hold dear, whether or not society does the same.  My prayer is that you practice kindness today as I will also try to do. May we always remember to love and be kind instead of to hate.

Hello January!

Playground.2Hello and welcome to January.  I cannot believe that we are now 18 days into the new year.  My that time has flown. Hope you are having a great week.  Mine has been pretty good but our unseasonably warm weather is wreaking havoc on my allergies and sinuses.

I have missed writing and hope to be back to it soon on a more regular basis.  The holidays were a whirlwind and I enjoyed down time and family time.  Now that school is back in session, we are busy again.  We are back to the routine of busy mornings, homework, and all of the rest.

I haven’t been inspired this week to write and that is frustrating.  I have many things and people on my mind and am stressed.  Sadly when I get stressed, my body and my stomach are affected.  So, I am trying to do things to help with my stress — watching what I eat today, relax and do some fun things, take a walk later today, do some coloring and a word find, and perhaps I will start meditation.  That would certainly help.

Life is pretty good but every once in a while I think about loved ones who have passed away, loved ones who are now suffering with loss, pain or health issues, loss of jobs, loss of homes and community, and so much more.  I am having one of those days today.  I will do my best, may have a cry, listen to some music, and try to focus on all of the positives.  And, I may go to bed early and hope for a better day tomorrow.

I have a book entitled, The Daily Writer.  Today’s writing is on The Art of Concentration. How is that for irony?  Concentrating on writing has been a challenge in recent weeks as I have mentioned. I hope to be able to concentrate again soon and find new topics that inspire me. I certainly didn’t mean to start on such a downer for my first writing of this new year.  But, it always helps me work through it when I write about it and what I am thinking.

Here are a few quotes about and from the amazing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose life we celebrated on Monday.  He is an inspiration in how he lived his life, fighting for what he believed in, his speeches and his writings.

  • “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope… and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ~ “Robert F. Kennedy
  • The time is always right to do what is right.”  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Everybody can be great.  Because anybody can serve.  You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.  You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.”  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.”  ~ Franklin Thomas
  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”  ~ Anne Frank
  • “Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”  ~ William James
  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

May we remember it is okay to have some down days.  May we live each day with kindness, empathy and peace.  May we learn from others different than ourselves and respect each other.  May we fight for what we believe without harm to others.  And, may we remember to always, always love.