Kindness Takes a Hit

“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 statement, comments were overwhelmingly negative. And not just negative, but mean, sarcastic, at times even crude. A call for love and kindness unleashed comments calling Secretary Clinton a murderer in Benghazi, a crook, a liar, a cheat. They further criticized her marriage, her looks, her voice, her authenticity, and her intentions. One blogger mocked Clinton thoroughly and concluded her remarks by saying love and kindness were “completely irrelevant in public life.” She further said “we need integrity and courage to live our values. Love and kindness optional.” I’ve always thought that integrity and courage go hand-in-hand with love and kindness, and that none of these qualities are inconsequential.

Perhaps that’s why we are where we are today, why there is so much anger and incivility, and so much inequity: love and kindness are viewed as optional.

Even those who may agree with Hillary’s politics made jokes about the fuzzy, woo-woo nature of her call for love and kindness. Really? Are love and kindness that ridiculous that they can’t be viewed as a possible pathway to a stronger country? If I learned one thing during my year of living kindly it’s that kindness is a strength, not a weakness. Choosing to be kind is not wimpy or weak. It takes courage.

Although I said earlier I don’t want to use my blog to talk about either religion or politics, I’ll make an exception here: I stand with the Dalai Lama who says, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

I’m not here to endorse Hillary Clinton or anybody else. I’m endorsing kindness.

“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.” (R.J. Palacio)

23 thoughts on “Kindness Takes a Hit

  1. It’s taken a long time for me to reach the conclusion that in the end, only love and kindness actually matter. Some days, I just have to let go what’s happening “out there” and practice on being loving and kind in my own life – to myself and to others. There’s no way to really effect change on a global level unless we do it first with ourselves. Keep heart, Donna, there are a lot of people who do believe that love and kindness matters.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Lovely, Michelle, thank you! Your thoughtful and heartful comment brought to mind the lyrics of a wonderful song, “When We’re Gone, Long Gone,” by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and Dolly Parton, in their album Trio II. The refrain: “When we’re gone, long gone, the only thing that will have mattered is the love that we shared and the way that we cared, when we’re gone, long gone.” Thanks so much for your supportive comments. In case you’re interested, here’s a link to the song: (I’ve forgotten how to put live links into comments, oh, dear!)


  2. Donna!
    I just wrote a total of 484 words in this comment! So I have decided to reblog your post with my response. Thank you for your honest and thoughtful post. Wishing you a peaceful, loving, and kind weekend. You deserve it! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Healing Through Connection and commented:
    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 afterward, here. I earnestly invite your engagement, and respectfully request civility and consideration in your words. Peace, love, kindness and sanity to you all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Catherine, for reblogging and for your thoughtful and candid response. I’ve heard Hillary call for love and kindness a few times now and I perceive sincerity in her words. I hope I’m not deluding myself. I’m wishing that you are not right in saying that only the most enlightened males see the need for love and kindness. I am blessed to know many men whom I believe would and do stand up for kindness—and model it in their lives. I hope there are legions more. I love your idea that a grassroots movement can lead the conversation from and to a place of love and kindness … and that it might return us to a more civil society, not to mention an election focused on what really matters. Sign me up!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, you are right, there are plenty of men who stand up for kindness. Maybe one of them, who carries some street cred (not her husband), will stand up for Hillary? That would go a long way in gender relations and breaking down stereotypes… Is there such as thing as an optimistic cynic? Or a cynical optimist? Sometimes I feel like one… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Donna: You have my vote! Keep being an ambassador for Love and Kindness. The World needs it. Jerry PS: Okay, I won’t bring up religion or politics at dinner ever again. Hope to see you and Bill again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hah! Jerry, I confess I enjoy sparring with you about both religion and politics—we all manage to keep it civil, entertaining, and informative. We should probably put a time limit on it next time, though, or we will drive Jennifer screaming from the table. Looking forward to seeing you both again soon. Thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting!


    • So true, Mick. Perhaps they haven’t experienced a lot of kindness or don’t really understand it, so can’t recognize its power. That gives me hope that experiencing kindness may ultimately lead to a “heart-opening.” It’s never too late…. Thanks for reading and for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I fear you’re right, Sandy Sue. We look for what we want/expect to see, so haters will always find something to hate. Fortunately, it works the other way, too. Those of us who seek the positive will find it in abundance. Thanks for visiting, and welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes! Yes! Yes! I have so much to say on this that my mind’s a whirl. I’ll start with this: a life dedicated to love and kindness is challenging. It’s hard. It’s not taking the easy way out and disingenuously fake-loving everyone and giving medals just for showing up (as the blogger you reference seems to view it). It’s being guided by your integrity and drawing strength from your courage to see a friend/relative through a difficult problem; it’s standing up for people who are mistreated, even if you do not know them; it’s stepping out of your ego when your teen yells, “I hate you” and not yelling back but hearing the pain/anxiety/conflict behind the words. In politics, it’s accepting that the world extends beyond my own personal problems (and my own opportunities for personal gain), and that as a society we look out for those in our community & our nation. Are we talking about ideals here? You bet. Yet ideals give us something higher and greater than ourselves to aspire toward. Otherwise, we’re forever mired in the “real world grit and struggle” that the blogger describes.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Nancy, this is such a tremendous comment! You’ve eloquently articulated why kindness is not inconsequential and why it matters so much—now, more than ever! It does take strength and courage, and it is often very hard. And being a kind person, a kind organization, or a kind country is one of the highest things we can aspire to. It makes me sad to think how many people equate kindness with weakness. Thank you for your comment and for stating it so beautifully.


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