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Kindness: Something We Can All Practice


Author Henry James wrote, “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”  

Today, in the world of social media that is becoming increasingly unsociable, it seems James’ three rules have been changed to “the first is to be ugly; the second is to be ugly; and the third is to be ugly.”

This ugliness from both sides of the divide has been on full, uncensored display since last Friday’s SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality. One person who supported gay unions mocked Christians as “knuckle draggers.” (There are other epithets I will not publish). On the church side, folks have been lobbing scripture grenades from their bunkers, apparently hoping that at least one would burst God’s judgment over the heads of their detractors. And there appears to be a whole lotta Facebook unfriending going on.

Be KindTo be honest, I have read amiable disagreements, but the nasty ones seem to be more prevalent. But it is possible for polarized people to come together, as Chick-Fil-A executive Dan Cathy and homosexual activist Shane L. Windmeyer demonstrated a few years ago.

I think God is less concerned about sexual orientation than he is about the Golden Rule: “Do to others what you want them to do to you.” Jesus said that this one rule was the sum and total of the teachings of Moses and the prophets (Matt 7:12). Do you want others to treat you kindly? Then be kind. You can do that if you’re devoutly religious or have never stepped foot in a church.

Let’s give it a try. We have nothing to lose but being hurtful.

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