My One Little Word for 2016- Kindness.
My reasons for choosing it were three-fold:
1. One of my favorite quotes is J.M. Barrie’s “Always be a little kinder than necessary.”
2. Despite my volunteering and my general nice-ness, I don’t think I’m particularly kind. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about the difference between the two. “At the base of niceness is a polite wish for everyone to just get along… But kindness is deeper. Kindness is better. Kindness is soft and real and true and bottomless. Kindness never patronizes, never puts on an act. Kindness never judges.”
3. Kindness is desperately needed in our world.
After the Paris bombing last year, I felt particularly sad. Sad for the people who lost their lives. But sad also for all of us who are still alive and have to regularly read and hear about police brutality, gang violence, hate crimes based on race and sexuality, and other horrific news. (And, there’s also homelessness, cancer, suicide, and other issues that have become commonplace in our everyday lives.)
I feel we’ve become desensitized. It’s like we show how heartbroken we are through hashtags and then forget about it a day or two later until another crime or senseless death is trending.
I know, with me, I’ve become more cynical.
That’s where Kindness Conversations comes in.
I’m not saying I have all (or the majority) of the answers but I wanted a place to start asking questions. I want to compile the answers I do get in case other people are interested, too. But more important than the talking and listening, I want things to get done, to change.
It’s overwhelming to think about how broken our world is but hopefully we can start the healing process. The problems won’t get solved overnight but we need to start somewhere, some time. Intentional acts of kindness- big and small- play a part in the mending and rebuilding.
I created some conversation prompts to get things started. I hope to share responses as I get them so please email me yours at earldizon [at] gmail [dot] com.