It seems one of those odd synchronicities to be running the preorder for The Kindness Book during all the ugliness of the Kavanaugh hearings, but I think it’s really important. There is a lack of civil discourse and a quickness to “other” people, and overall there seems to br increasing polarization lately – those who view other people as individuals with rights and those who view other people as pawns to use in their efforts to gain personal power. Kindness that stems from compassion and true caring can go a long way toward helping to improve society.
Kindness is viewed by some people as a weakness, but there is a distinction between being kind and being nice. Niceness is more related to manners and is frequently motivated by wanting people to like you and not wanting to make waves, thus a very passive state. Kindness comes from empathy and often requires action, even if it is just active listening to others. And so kindness requires a steel core of convictions underneath the softness. Kindness sometimes mean saying “no”.
And here is where kindness can really help in society. People who care can look at those who view people as pawns and love them for the individuals they are and the load they carry but out of that love say “no”. It is a lot like parenting. Say “you are mucking up this sandbox we are all trying to play in, and I love you but you may not knock down the other sandcastles and you can’t force other people to build you the biggest sandcastle. That is not okay, it never was okay, and it never will be okay. And until you can respect that, you have to go sit on the side.” Imagine doing that to those currently in power, just making them sit on the sides until they at least play nicely, if not kindly. The trick then is that you then have to live by example and play by the rules yourself.
Anyway, The Kindness Book preorder is up just through Monday so make sure you snag your copy while you can!