Press "Enter" to skip to content

Editorial: Let’s show goodwill toward one another

It’s not just a Christian concept. It’s not just what Jesus embodied and preached. It’s the heart of our humanity: Christian or Jew, Muslim or Hindu, atheist or agnostic.

It’s what enables us to soothe the suffering, nurse the sick and comfort the sad.

It’s what pushes us to aid the poor and protect the helpless.

It’s the soul of our selflessness. The breath of our better angels. The body of our best work.

It’s what casts light on our darkest shadows and lends hope to our bleakest hours.

It’s kindness.

And it goes hand in hand with Christmas, helping today’s holiday serve as a hearth to so many warmth-hungry souls.

But here’s the thing: Kindness is in short supply these days.

It does not define enough of our country at the moment. It does not drive enough of our leaders. It does not motivate enough of our conversations.

Kindness is not winning in America right now. A terrible pandemic that should have brought out the best in us instead has only brought out hostility in far too many. In a time with so much tragedy and uncertainty, there hasn’t been nearly enough attention to binding up our many wounds and too much attention on heaping contempt on those with whom we disagree.

So let’s do more this morning than sip cocoa, gather round the tree and gleefully rip the wrapping from our gifts. Let’s do more today than play Christmas songs and set up our new gadgets. Let’s do more than wrestle with the wiring of our new appliances.

Let’s do more, even, than attend services to honor Jesus’ birthday. Let’s also recommit to practicing what he preached.

Let’s be kind.

Let’s resolve anew to make kindness our life’s mission, to make it our most consistent contribution to our communities, our friends and our families.

Let’s be kind in face-to-face, everyday interactions that go beyond charitable donations or fundraiser solicitation.

Let’s be kind enough, for a refreshing change, to actually care about one another. Let’s be kind enough, even when we passionately disagree, to be considerate — not just in the civil sense (though that would be a welcome upgrade), but in the dictionary sense: Let’s consider others.

Let’s consider their souls and their psyches each time we speak. Let’s truly consider their divergent views by trying to understand them, by actually examining the facts or fictions that form them. Let’s be kind enough to open not only our hearts, but our minds.

And let’s remember that in being kind to others, we are being kind to ourselves.

In forgiving them their past transgressions, we are freeing ourselves to move forward. In empathizing with their hurts, we are expanding our own horizons. In striving to improve their plight, we are striving to improve society.

For those of us who carry guilt or shame, let’s be kind by putting our pasts away, peering back toward them only as tools to build better futures.

Because in working to remain on the right path, we are also working to rebuild relationships — a kindness to all those who care about us.

Finally, let’s make sure our leaders know that kindness matters. That the fate of all people — their politics or pay grades or piety notwithstanding — matters.

Kindness need not cost us our convictions, need not mute our passions. It demands only that we be more forgiving and less vindictive, more forbearing and less self-righteous, more understanding and less unbending.

It demands only that we be more of the things that Jesus wanted us — all of us — to be. Because without earnest goodwill toward one another, we can never achieve peace on Earth.

Hard as it may be to believe in this challenging period of history, better times are ahead. It’s up to all of us to help make it so.

Merry Christmas.


Source: Berkshire mont

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: