Kindness Takes a Hit

Friends, here is a thoughtful and evocative post by my friend Donna.
My comment grew to 484 words, so I decided to reblog Donna’s post, with my comment here. I earnestly invite your engagement, and respectfully request civility and consideration in your words. Peace, love, kindness and sanity to you all.

Hi Donna,

I agree with Michelle, we have to maintain our conviction.

I saw one 2-second clip of HRC making her ‘love and kindness’ proclamation. May I offer my honest response?

Instantaneously, I felt triumph and dread. At once, “More people need to say this,” and, “Ugh, Hillary said it, that’s just an invitation for pot shots.”

First, though I’m unaware of the context, meaning the words she spoke before and after, it struck me as incongruous, her demeanor and her words. “What we need more of in the world is love and kindness,” I expect to hear in a different tone and with very different facial expressions from what I saw of her on that video.  It came across to me as disingenuous, scripted, contrived.  I don’t trust that she believes what she said, based on her words and actions in the past.

By contrast, if Bernie had said the same words, and indeed in his usual fist-wielding, cranky old man demeanor, I would have had no problem rallying behind him for it. Because I have seen him hug a young Muslim woman on stage, and I constantly hear him talk about bringing people together, caring for the downtrodden among us.  These words are much more consistent with his visible actions and rhetoric, rather than Hillary’s.  Then again, I confess I am biased toward Bernie.

Thus, I wonder if the backlash stems more from this intuitive disconnect between the words and their speaker, than from an innate rejection of love and kindness in general.

Moreover, I cannot help but speculate that gender politics also loom large here. Feminists, at the same time advocating for women to have a louder, clearer, more assertive voice, must be aware of the scrutiny, however unfair, that any woman will face when speaking publicly about the fuzzy, woo-woo stuff, as you put it.  Only the most enlightened males will readily acknowledge the value, much less the essential and fundamental need, for love and kindness in all realms of human interaction. I actually applaud Hillary for stepping out and taking that risk, if she really did it earnestly.  More of us need to take that step, and more often, if we are to lead the movement toward more outward practice of love and kindness.  I see you, Michelle, myself and many of our blogging friends here, as doing our part to contribute to that movement.

I also don’t love joining the morass that is political exchange on social media.  But here’s an idea: If people like us led the conversation from a place of love and kindness, could we then change the nature of those conversations?  Could we make them more loving and kind, and thus more inviting and productive?  Maybe you have actually started something pretty spectacular, here, my friend.


A Year of Living Kindly

“I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.” (Mother Teresa)

attribution: Donna CameronIt’s been a bit disheartening this week to see that kindness—simple, elemental kindness—has become a political issue.

For the most part on this blog, I have avoided writing about politics, as I’ve avoided writing about religion. I have a possibly old-fashioned view that these are private matters and little benefit comes from either proclaiming one’s religious or political beliefs or denouncing somebody else’s.

I will admit that I did write about Donald Trump a couple of times last year—not so much as an aspiring politician, but as a practiced bully.

In recent days, Hillary Clinton has called for “more love and kindness” in America. Seems like a reasonable observation to me, but it has issued forth a storm of criticism and downright vicious comments. On news sites that reported candidate Clinton’s…

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6 thoughts on “Kindness Takes a Hit

  1. Thank you, Catherine. I certainly appreciate your comments and your reblogging. As I noted in my comments back to you on YOLK, I love the idea that those of us who stand for love and kindness can help change the level of discourse. There are lots of us—male and female. I fear, though, that our voices tend to be drowned out by those who are louder, more strident, and perhaps also more fearful. It takes courage in today’s environment to go against the prevailing winds, but enough of us together can change the direction of the wind. I’m in!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good evening, Cathy! I’ve been offline for several days dealing with aching/strained muscles across my shoulders & neck – ugh – an am catching up. Like you, Donna’s post really struck a chord with me and I found my mind whirling even if typing is still a bit painful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: Opposition and Openness | Healing Through Connection

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