Be Kind—More Important Than Ever in Today’s World
The whole world is hurting these days. People are fearful due to the war in the country of Ukraine and the devastation caused by the recent pandemic. Our politics have become polarized, whereby people can’t talk to each other. Social media is rampant with unkind, even cruel statements that are not helping our national dialog but are degrading it.
Unfortunately, bullying is also prevalent in schools and is a great national concern.
In the news today, we hear the many problems of the homeless, illegal immigrants crossing the border, people suffering from drug addiction, and of the loss of jobs.
What we don’t hear about is the person at the beach or someone we pass by on the street who is struggling with situations or people in their lives. Even someone in our close family, whom we think is alright, might be fighting some inner demons. On the surface, they may seem to have everything in life, but inside they are hurting. No one is immune from bad things happening, no matter how well-off they are.
The day after my mother passed away, I went for my usual morning stroll on the beach. Walking over the dune, I smiled at a few people who were leaving the beach. I probably looked happy to them. There was no way they could tell that I was feeling raw, tender, and emotional inside.
This moment reminded me of the importance of being kind to people. This reflection inspired my new song Be Kind, especially the first 2 lines:
“You don’t know if one is hurting,
you don’t know if one is in pain.”
Being kind does not mean being altruistic, hugging everyone we see, or giving handouts. We simply need to be respectful, considerate, and careful with our words and emotions toward other people. The Transcendental Meditation technique has made this easy for me to do.
How many people are down on themselves because they may have lost their temper at work or with their family that day? If we did not sleep well that night and feel strained and tired as a result, we may have an outburst of anger, which we regret afterward. We don’t intentionally want to hurt other people. Therefore, it is also important to be kind and forgiving of ourselves.
In the song Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson sings, “If we want to make the world a better place, take a look in the mirror and make that change.” If we want to have a kinder world, we need to start by being kinder in our communities—to our family, friends, and even strangers. I appreciate it when someone is unexpectedly kind to me, and I am sure you do as well.
Can the song Be Kind change the world? I don’t have any illusion that it will, but it can be a gentle reminder: everyone in the world can use a little extra kindness in their life.
About the Author
Ann Purcell is a poet, an award-winning author, a songwriter and CD producer, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and has been featured in podcasts and radio shows. She is an international leader of TM for Women.