Dear President Trump,
Have you seen the “In this house we believe….” signs? I don’t think you all have any posted on the White House lawn and I bet you don’t get out into real neighborhoods much so I’m guessing you haven’t seen them. The rest of the sign reads: “Black lives matter. Women’s rights are human rights. No human is illegal. Science is real. Love is love. Kindness is everything.” All of the elements are important but I’ve been using the last phrase “Kindness is everything” as a touchstone. This theme resonates because so much of the time I have to work hard at being kind. I’m easily annoyed and prone to righteous indignation and impatience and I can be just as self-centered as most other humans (present company excluded) so without all this focus on kindness, I’d likely be a total witch. So kindness is everything. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to end up being a great political slogan for anyone to run with, but I sure wish someone would be brave enough to do it. If this was someone’s platform and they committed to seeing all legislative and policy efforts through this lens, it would be pretty amazing. It would be hard and people would vehemently disagree on what is and isn’t kind, but if the bedrock value was one of kindness, things would be pretty darn different than the current greed-fueled mess we are in now.
I’m in DC again today and at the metro station I got to help a man about my age buy his transit card. He lives here but never takes the train. When it turned out we were going the same direction, we got to talking about our kids and we had the most amazing, heartfelt conversation about striving and taking risks and self-discipline. When it was time for me to get off the train he told me is an ICU RN and that he’s learned how very important it is for people not to shy away from going for things that are important to them. I let him know I’m a psychologist and have learned much the same thing from my patients. And then we shook hands and thanked each other and said goodbye. I told you the other day I’m working on not being afraid of African American men and my kindness and his kindness today helped me step further toward that goal.
May we all feel safe enough to be kind.
May we all be happy to be kind.
May we all be healthy enough to receive kindness.
May we all love and take care of kindness and remember it is everything.