During 2012, I have wondered aloud what it is to be kind. I have attempted to be kinder; met with some success and some failure (and probably learned more from the failures). 
     But one thing has become clear. Kindness is being squeezed out our society, in Canada and North America. I won’t include the rest of the world as I’m saddened enough to see what’s happening on this continent.
     Kindness has less and less room to flourish. It’s a value we pay lip service to, but seemingly don’t value anymore. A fairy tale we tell to our children knowing the real world will soon enough trample it. Kindness happens in books or movies or odd foreign lands. 
     Not here. 
     Moreover, we’re not inclined to accept kindness – it has become a sign of weakness. We no longer have the honesty or humility to say I need help, to take advantage of someone or some organization that has the means and will to lend a hand. 
     We can’t seem to muster the courage to take that hand when extended. I found this in myself, that I needed not to need help. Needed to be strong. Needed to keep everything in. Then everything went wrong, and everything exploded. I was left an empty shell.
     Truly, I mourn that I felt that way. And I wonder what I have learned over the past 5 months. I wonder if I believe in kindness as I think I do. I wonder if I know what kindness is.
     Our society grows increasingly libertarian in its outlook, which means everyone look out for themselves. A real mean spirited selfishness is hidden under the cloak of free will and speech, and less government involvement in society. Libertarianism aside, Canada is moving farther to the right than perhaps any time in history. 
     Call me whatever you like, left wing and socialist, words akin to blasphemy these days. To each his own. Or is that from each according to ability, to each according to need or needs. umm, no.
     At a time when so many are in desperate need of kindness, we are turning our backs on kindness. Are we becoming alien to each other in a culture that alienates?
     I don’t want to pose that question, let alone answer it.

 





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