Why it is so important to Stay Kind
Looking closely at the world today, it’s easy to see things are not going necessarily in the direction most of us would be hoping for. Facebook and Twitter seem more like war zones of political opinions on current events, rather than just the place to post photos and statuses like the days before. I was thinking the other day about Bumper Stickers and Pieces of Flair if those of us can remember that far back, and then I realized that during those days I’m not sure I ever saw a shred of the political firestorm that we see today.
Now, I would be the last to say that people shouldn’t post their opinions on social media, as I really do think it’s important to appreciate everyone’s opinion. But I do think that recently we have divulged into the trenches of social media warfare and the effects can be truly depressing. I’ve seen grandparents bickering with grandchildren in the comment sections because their grandchild had posted a photo from Bernie Sanders’ Facebook page, or something that was just a little more political and different from their usual posts of adorable cats or food recipes.
I’ve seen this go the other way as well with the youth of my generation claiming their parents are racists and bigots because they voted for Trump, when really it could not be farther from the truth. Rather than seeking to understand, we are quick to judge, and act according to this mislead judgements.
The fact of the matter is that today more than ever, we need more kindness. As Charlie Chaplain beautifully stated in his movie, “The Great Dictator”,
“More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost…”
I have always loved these words, and no matter the day or time, they continue to resonate within me.
So this is all I wanted to offer in this small jumble of writing, just a small plea that we all try a little harder to trust and love others. God knows I could do better, and so could all of us. My hope is that we take the time to realize that we all come from different backgrounds and influences, and that there is truly something to be learned from everyone.
Remember that life is still good no matter how dark things seem to get. There is still inherent good within each person, and often times it boils down to misunderstanding one another, or simply labeling before getting to know the true heart of the individual.
I know and can offer a promise of my own that life will be much simpler, and brighter with this knowledge. I know because I learned it through my own personal study of those individuals that faced horrid persecution. History really can teach us so much about who we really are, and now more than ever we need to study such writing. Readings from the lives of individuals such as Ghandi, survivors of the Holocaust, and most recently accounts of those fleeing from their countries and seeking refuge throughout the world due to war have given me a deeper perspective on how we must combat the evil of bigotry and judgement that is slowly seeping into all forms of our daily lives. Their stories teach us of the importance of loving those around us, and to seek the good within each other.
With all of this, I wanted to leave the link to the video and script of Charlie Chaplin’s speech from the Great Dictator. I am a strong believer that individuals can be inspired to create important writings or even movies that will one day mean so much more, perhaps in a different time. As I continue to watch the events in the world around us, I see this speech becoming more and more applicable.
Let us commit to be a little kinder this coming week, and seek more to reach out in kindness to all of us who deserve a better and more decent world. A world where we can learn, create, and inspire without the fear and restriction of hatred. History teaches that we are designed to progress and continually move forward. However, we also learn from history that when brutes come to leadership, we can “progress” into something monstrous. We must take a personal account within our own lives to ensure that we live and pursue happiness, with the intent of providing it to others as well. As Thomas Jefferson was inspired to include in the American Declaration of Independence, we are entitled to pursue happiness. We have been designed and created to find and have it. We must remember that those around us are entitled to the same happiness. May our lives be brighter as we do so is my deep hope and prayer.
Charlie Chaplin’s, “The Great Dictator”