“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
– Mark Twain
It becomes trite to start every letter with my internal musing of how it’s already...whatever month it is. And trite it may be, but it’s August and this year has been blowing by me. The minutes are days, and I am caught up in all the stuff, much as you are, of just ordinary life. Yet, in recent years, we can all attest that life has become much more than ordinary – we have been caught in a vacuum of sorts that leaves us somewhat in a state of – 10 cent word I love – discombobulation.
To be confused, perplexed or unable to think clearly: You know that feeling? Well, we live in a world where everything around us is in conflict. Whether it be political parties, the world around us at war, people at odds over the simplest of things, the people, places, feelings or history we once all shared a standard connection to, are now, we are told, the opposite of what we have always known them to be. It wears on you, doesn’t it? And sadly, sometimes that reveals itself in negativity, despair, meanness and downright disdain for others: Unkindness.
When putting this issue together, in homage to our feature partner special section from Williamson Medical Center, the phrase “Kindness Matters” resonated on more than one level. WMC started a Kindness Matters campaign this year as part of their effort to encourage everyone to be more kind, especially when it comes to healthcare workers. But in truth, that campaign reaches far beyond the confines of healthcare environments and is much needed in every facet of the world.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the feeling you must have gotten when you saw the cover this month – a precious, completely without guile, baby – occurred with everyone we encounter throughout the day? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could always feel as we do when we see that baby? Kindness can be conveyed in the simplest of ways. It can create an abundance of humanity with the right word, phrase, touch, tone of voice and facial expression.
So, as we meet the dog days of summer, be kind. Because kindness does matter. It is the most powerful, least costly and underrated agent of human change.
Shelly Robertson Birdsong