Tuesday, January 3, 2012

COEXIST XXXIII - The Kindness Alternative

On New Year's Day we had 45 friends, family and neighbors fill our home with joyful chatter and laughter. It was a wonderful way to start the year. Associating with so many dear people made me think about how kind and loving most people are - as opposed to the impression we are given of human beings through the media, news, TV, movies etc. I have a great deal of trouble listening to politicians and talking heads who do nothing but criticize and belittle others.

So this year as the presidential race gets going I propose the "Kindness Alternative." Don't let the animosity of those who have a platform cause you to lose faith in the kindness and goodness of people. Pay attention to your own speech and when you may be offending someone. Turn off divisive news and radio programs. Fill your life with good people. Stop all gossip, which is nothing more than judgement. Listen to others. Express yourself in a respectful manner. Be the change you want to see in the world.

So many of the presidential candidates boast of their Christian faith - but remember the example of Jesus. His example was of humility, forgiveness and grace. He told us to pray in private. His whole ministry was based on advocating for the poor and outcast over the wealthy and powerful. He told us to "turn the other cheek", which superceded the Old Testament "eye for an eye." He accepted and dined with the lowest members of society. He loved, not hated. He was a pacifist.

If you do not see the difference between the example of Jesus and the powerful, famous "Christians" we hear from in the media and politics then open your Bible and reread His words. Notice the things that Jesus did NOT say that are somehow attributed to Him now. I think you'll see the difference.


alphabet soup said...

I couldn't agree more about turning off divisive news and radio programs.
All the best for 2012 Dianne.
Ms Soup.

Future Path said...

Can't agree more with "right speech". I've noticed that more and more with Facebook being so popular now, especially when debate on hot button issues starts. I have actually used it to challenge myself to be more mindful of how my words will impact others, and I also challenge the people I'm speaking with to address their own communication as they want to get their issues raised. For some reason, people really don't pay much attention to their speech, yet it it is the one area they have the greatest ability to have impact.

JeannetteLS said...

"Don't let the animosity of those who have a platform cause you to lose faith in the kindness and goodness of people.

Those words resonate in a time where people seem to not understand the word "civility," and all too often, the words "mutual respect."

As a citizen, I am trying to fulfill what I feel is my duty as a citizen by listening. It is so hard. This was a good post to read today for me.