Good Neighbors

Why Has Kindness Become the Exception, Not the Rule?

We have to trust the best in us if we're going to get more kindness in the world around us.

OK: take a quick look at the picture above.

What's your first thought?

  • Am I opening the door because she's a pretty blonde? (Yes, she's pretty, but no that's not it)
  • Am I opening the door because she's my wife? (Uh, no. She's a lovely lady, but not the love of my life)
  • Am I opening the door because she's someone special? (I think everyone is special, so not quite)
  • And no: I'm not opening the door just because Wednesday was World Kindness Day." (I'd do this any day of the week)

In fact, I'm opening the door for my colleague Jessica for a variety of reasons all my own . She's a child of God. She's a fellow American. She's a respected colleague. She's someone's daughter and sister. She's a lady. What ever happened to chivalry just because? What ever happened to kindness just because? Can't a person do a simple, kind act or gesture just because it's the decent thing to do?

Sadly, in today's world, there seems to be a barrier to everything that would promote a gentler side of our society. If you hold a door open for a woman just to be polite, people will tell you it's a gender slam. Celebrate Black History Month and people will tell you that you're really just highlighting our differences, not what makes us the unique nation we are. Geez enough!

If we're ever going to get our society back to one that inspires through love, respect, and kindness as the rule -- not the exception -- we have to go back to a time when we assumed the other person's best intentions were good.

And we are good people.We are generous. In 2017, our nation collectively gave over $427 billion to charity. We are friendly. As neighbors, the sharing of a backyard garden harvest, the get togethers with new friends, the church pot-lucks are what bonds us, and brings laughter after a hard work week, and confidence when our energy is low.

Kindness is fuel that sustains us.

Kindness is water that replenishes us.

Kindness is a foundation that supports us.

But for kindness to be most effective, we have to start trusting each others best intentions..

Let your kind acts each day a witty comment, a timely compliment, a small gesture, an anonymous act, or a combination of any of these be the difference in shifting our society back to the best of what we are. World Kindness Day is a great day to start making world kindness back in vogue once again.

Lenny McAllister is a Sparkt contributor and political commentator featured on BCN network launching January 6, 2020. He is a former television and radio show host in Pittsburgh.

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