Just Be Kind

I respect kindness in human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don’t respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.

Brendan Behan

During my time as a broke and bored college student, I took it upon myself to read the literature of every major religion. My Catholic upbringing, despite instilling good values, never sat right with me. I had to know what else was out there. At the end of all that, my conclusions was that all religions adhere to the same basic principle. Just be kind.

Far too often, snap judgments are made based on the ways someone dresses, their political bumper sticker, or how they chose to discipline their kid. And, far too often, we are mistaken in our first impressions.

Lately, I see so many heated arguments over differences in option. However, as an objective observer, it’s often evident that those yelling at each other are after the same thing. We all just want to be treated kindly and with respect. Yet, while fervently demanding this from others, so many fail to uphold their own standards of integrity.

I don’t know about you, but “kindness” covers all of my religious and political beliefs. No need to spell them out. No need for gaudy exclamations and acts of self-righteousness. My actions, I hope, speak for themselves.

If, at the end of this life, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others unhappy is a crime. And to make ourselves unhappy is where all crime begins.

Whatever it is you believe, you must try to contribute joy to the world. Plant flowers, bake cookies, visit the nursing home, buy lemonade from kids on the corner, and dole out compliments at every change. Be a good person.

There is so much drama, negativity, and suffering in the world. I think those bearing witness to the dire state of society have the responsibility to counteract the pain and the vitriol. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try.

Like Behan, “I respect kindness in human beings first of all”. Whatever your religious or political affiliation, I bet that you, too, believe in kindness.

11 thoughts on “Just Be Kind

  1. It’s really not hard at all to be kind. I see people doing it all the time, and I see the opposite as well. I think the thoughtful folks outweigh the others though, at least in my community. I like the reminder Erin, that no matter what others choose, as an individual we can always choose to be kind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, you’re absolutely right, Deb. I sometimes get discouraged seeing the selfish behaviors of others, but try to redirect my attention to myself and what I can do to be kind. The good deeds stand out and, hopefully, also begin a ripple effect.


    1. Yes, I’ve noticed the same, Ally. Especially post-covid, there seems to be far more selfishness. I try to be kind to everyone, but I have found myself limiting interactions quite a bit because outside of my little network, there’s a lot of room for disappointment and heartbreak.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you summed up nicely my thoughts about religion, Erin. I believe in the core principles of each and in a God but there are many aspects that I find so problematic, especially how divisive and politicized it’s become in todays climate.

    I love how you took an effort to study the different religions, because ultimately that is how I think we can cure all this divisiveness in the world – by willing to see our many commonalities rather than the small differences.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, you’re so right! There is so much divisiveness in the world, and it’s frustrating because we all have more in common than is different, but few are willing to listen with an open mind to their “opponent”.


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