In Search of Civility and Kindness

I find it very interesting how family members and friends can have such strong and opposite opinions regarding elections. The tone, meaning of many comments are nothing more than cruel. Perhaps its social media and our rush to comment on a post that moves us one way or another.

We see family members who practically assail each other over a candidate, an issue, or a movement. People feeding off doomsday comments while others seem to be goading or attempting humor.

I’d love to see more kindness, civil discussion, and respect for what others think, say, and feel. I’m asking my family, friends, and contacts to help each other practice kindness as we near the general election. Will you join in?

…that’s 30 for now.

4 thoughts on “In Search of Civility and Kindness

  1. Yes, my wife and I have made the same observations and the need for kindness and civility. We also have had family members who have varied strong opinions. Caring plus conflict equals growth! We cannot avoid the conflict but we can begin and end our conversations with caring words.

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  2. Several thoughts came to mind when I read your blog. The first was an encounter several years ago with Sandy McDonnell (McDonnell Douglas) when he and I sat next to one another at the head table of a conference. As we chatted, I learned from him that he had asked his employees to submit their thoughts about their values for being good citizens. He went on to explain that the summary was a listing so close to the 12 points of the Boy Scout Law, except for Reverence, that he concluded the Scout Law was a strong set of vlaues: Trustworthiness, Loyalty, Helpfulness, Friendliness, Courtesy, Kindness, Obedience, Cheerfulness, Thrift, Brave, and Cleanliness, that Sandy adopted them for the McDonnell Douglas company. When I think of civility and kindness, I think about those values I learned first at home then were reinforced through the Scouting program. Most, if not all of these values can be directly linked to the Scout Law.
    The second thought that came to mind came from a scene in a movie I watched recently when WWII captives held in a Japanese POW camp rushed to help Japanese soldiers wounded in a bombing raid. The camp enforcer at first attempted to stop the Australian prisoners from giving assistance, acting out of a value system that aid should not be provided to wounded and dishonored Japanese soldiers. That value system was so unlike that of the Australians (and of myself).
    The third thought has Biblical references. Psalm 82:3-4 “Defend the weak and the fatherless, uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy, deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” And Matthew 25:40 “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
    The last thought came from a photo image I often use with my graduate students. That image shows Pope Francis bending down to kiss the head of a man seriously disfigured by boils and lesions. Pope Francis saw beyond the outward appearance that would cause others to turn away and saw into the man’s heart.
    How can I not be civil and kind to others regardless of their condition, their situation, their station, their standing?

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