-- MARGERY DICKINSON, Richland
Our nation has been focused on an antidote to random acts of violence. How appropriate to focus instead on random acts of kindness. I've come to realize that kindness is the opposite of violence, and the best defense against more violence.
If we had zero tolerance for allowing any child to be bullied, isolated or hurt, that would be progress on a number scale from the minus side to neutrality, or zero. But to move to the positive side, what better strategy to practice than kindness?
While it would be great for the kids who are picked on and made fun of to be treated with respect, that just moves that child up to a position of safety. On Maslov's scale of needs, that's near the bottom rung. But to release a child's energy to move into creativity and self-fulfillment, the child needs to experience real acceptance and opportunity.
This week's question asks for examples of Kindnesses Past. Just recently there was a story about children being served at the Developmental Center, giving them a big boost to move from a label of "delay" or "disability" to one of ability. So, I'll point to that as an example.
I'll also challenge our whole community to move into Kindnesses Present. We could set ourselves goals to deliberately be open for opportunities to do a kindness to others, while also watching for kindnesses done by others and telling them you saw and appreciated their acts of kindness. Perhaps Show and Tell could move from a focus on stuff to stories of kindnesses.
Then, as more of us replace a culture of violence with a culture of kindness, we can look forward to Kindnesses Future where we would find that violence has decreased and there will be fewer "misfits" in society, because children have been trained to give value to all others, and know the ways to put kindness into action, not just occasionally, but as a well-practiced habit.
Light one little candle in your little corner of the world. Light is stronger than darkness, and darkness can not overcome it.