The other day, after listening to my children argue, I asked one of them to be kind to the other. I am trying to say that more often to them, not just asking them to stop arguing. My hope is that they will see that it is not just the arguing, but how they are arguing that is the problem.
Today I read a post on one of the good deeds/happy social media pages I follow. It was a video of a retail chain store who had lost power and the employees quickly worked together to pack up the perishable food and send it to the local food bank. Many people were helped, nice story. But then I read the comments. More than half of the 150 comments were negative or downright mean. Questioning motives, turning it political and referencing hot button issues with the chain that had nothing to do with the good deed performed.
When did we become a country where truly no good deed goes unpunished? Why are we so quick to hate?
I know the anonymity of social media is somewhat to blame, making it easier to be negative without the consequences.
But it is more than that. These days it feels like the hatred and anger runs through the air like static electricity before a storm. From the top down, it feels like prickly is the default. Here I am working hard to teach my kids to be kind, when adults all around them cannot agree to disagree or discuss their differences in a calm rational manner.
I can only hope that my insistence on kindness from my kids will rub off on people around us. I have work to do too. I will make an extra effort to be kind to others. Have more patience. Try to not let the toxic environment affect my reactions to little things around me. Be a good example to my kids.
If we all did this as individuals, maybe we can make a difference. Please. We could all use a little compassion. Take small kindnesses at face value. For our kids.