In todays world we seem to find kindness somewhere between doing someone a favour and “hmm, what’s that word again?”
Kindness isn’t just for family, sometimes, co-workers when you need a favour or your neighbour when you can’t find anyone else to help you out. Kindness isn’t a payback feature on Facebook or Instagram. Picture, picture. Fake.
I know Im old and from an era that held kindness and compassion in the forefront of my generation. I grew up knowing my neighbours. I played outside until dark without fear that I would be taken, and we did trade sugar for coffee with people on our block. Go figure. What has happened to us as a people?
I moved to British Columbia from Detroit Michigan in the 70’s. No I didn’t run away because of the draft or as a war protestor, I moved because I married a Canadian. I was one pampered city girl in a rural cultural town of about 5000 people. I held onto the kindness of the towns people to teach me about living without the neccessities I grew up with and taken for granted.
I learned to chop wood, my main source of heat, carry water in large heavy cannisters until our well was dug and be in bed early without hydro or tv for a while. If you are thinking pity oh please don’t. I loved the adventure, I loved the challenge and I am so grateful for those neighbours and friends that showed me that kindness. No one judged me for being a city girl. We laughed about my priorities but I soon learned to fit in. My daughter will tell you one of her first memories is learning to go in a out house instad of a pottie.
We learned to communicate as a unit, we challenged our family ties, and we learned to love and appreciate where we lived.
When I thought about what to write this morning I thought about myself, my beginnings in another country. I was the immigrant. I was the outsider in which I could have felt threatened, uncared about and degraded for what I didn’t know. I am very grateful to all those that gave me warmth and friendliness, that taught me how to do things that I had taken for granted and made me into the person I am. I am grateful to pay it forward to all those who now come from a different country. Some coming not becuase they want to but because they have to.
Being human is what we are. Not white, black, brown, yellow or red. We are people who should place kindness and compassion on the top of our list.
We need to reach out and touch those that have less, that know less about our countries ways and show them kindness.
There will always be controversy, contention and a fear for the unknown. Lets get to know everyone on a human level. Lets try.