Is it really so hard to be kind?
What is it that’s hardwired into we as a people (all humans, I mean, world-wide, not just us anal-retentive white Anglo-Saxon protestants) that makes it easier to frown than smile, to flip the bird than to wave, to give pages and pages to dire warnings and depressing stories and next to nothing to occasions of joy?
What makes us so gosh-darned antagonistic? And what can we do about it?
Well, obviously, there’s no changing the world at one go. And there’s no MAKING someone change. (Remember the Civil War — you can’t try to run someone else’s business without them getting mite riled about it.) But we CAN change ourselves, one breath at a time. And those breaths turn into actions; those actions into hours, the hours into days, the days into . . .
What might we achieve with that outlook? If we each focused only on ourselves (and let’s face it — we’re a narcissistic bunch; we love nothing more than ourselves), if we each made a concerted effort to THINK before we ACT, how might that (over time) change the world around us?
Put that way, is it really so hard? No one is asking us to change the entire world, only a small part of us.
But, oh, how some people struggle. No one is gonna tell THEM what to do! It’s all well and good for OTHER people to make the changes, but THEY aren’t going to.
Change is frightening, sometimes downright terrifying. That doesn’t make it bad, that only makes it difficult. And isn’t peace worth some difficulty? Start small if the big picture scares you. Turn off the TV an hour earlier than normal and spend it with your family. Change the radio when messages of hate come on. Extend a friendly hand to someone in need, even if it’s only to offer a quarter to the woman fumbling for change in the grocery line. When they thank you, just smile and ask them to pay it forward. Sure it sounds hokey, but you know what? People often do. And that’s how miracles begin.