I don’t like politics. And I don’t like addressing politics on this blog.
But as I have tried to absorb the unexpected results of the election this past week, and the fallout, I feel that I must write about what has been so absent these last few days: kindness.
I cannot speak for others, just for myself. I am shocked, not just by the outcome of the election, but also by the hatred that am witnessing in the media.
Are people really spray painting swastikas on walls in 2016? Are they really attacking others just for being a different race? I was horrified to read an account of the hate crimes committed in my hometown high school, by teenagers, just a few miles from where I grew up. Why are we turning on each other when we should be supporting each other? This is not the America that I know.
Yesterday, my daughter’s nursery school teacher informed me that she had misbehaved during the morning. She didn’t want to share toys with her friends. My stomach dropped when the teacher mentioned this, and as soon as we got into the car, I asked my daughter about it.
“I had a hard time sharing with John today,” she said sheepishly.
I glanced back at her in the rearview mirror. Her eyes met mine.
“Remember how we’ve been talking about being kind? Sharing with our friends is one way to be kind.” I said. She nodded.
“Well, know what? I was kind today.” She looks pleased with herself, but fails to elaborate.
“Oh yeah?” I prod.
“Mommy, today I saw Charlie was sitting on the bench on the playground and I asked him to play astronaut with me because he was left out.”
I can feel my heart expanding in my chest at this simple kindness.
Change starts small. Smile at someone. Ask how their day is going. Help a neighbor. People are devastated, confused and angry. We could all use some simple kindness.
Look around for the person who alone and left out, even if that person is different from you. Walk right up to the person, look them in the eye and offer an invitation to join you.
If a three-year-old can be kind enough to do this, then we all can.