We Need Kind Humans Now

Something’s wrong here.

I can feel it in my bones.

That wrong-ness wakes me up at night.
It shortens my breath and twists my stomach into knots.
It furrows my brow and tightens my jaw.
It interrupts my days with involuntary sighs.
It makes me prone to seemingly random emotional detonations.

I do my best to rationalize my way around the feeling; to tell myself a fictional story that assures me it’s all an overreaction, that things aren’t as bad as they seem, that the world is no worse than it’s ever been—but I know me well enough to know that I’m lying.

I try to push the feeling away, numbing my mind with some convenient creature comforts to distract myself for a bit, but it’s always still hovering there in the periphery of the room, reminding me that all is not well.

I imagine you feel it.

You sense the not rightness, don’t you?

You feel that heaviness too, right?

You can’t be alive right now and not notice something’s wrong.

Functioning hearts are annoying that way. 

I’ve been trying to put my finger on what it is.

It isn’t just the unthinkable headlines or the continually breaking bad news cycle.
It isn’t just the rising pandemic death toll or the brazen terrorist attacks or the politicians parading around open contempt for human life.
It isn’t just the sickening social media slot machine trends, continually lining up on our timelines to demand our outrage and our urgency.

Those things surely aren’t helping—but it’s more than that.

Actually, it’s a lot less than that.

The problem isn’t the ugly, bitter, maddening legion of dangers that are here.

The real problem is what’s not here:

Kindness.

It’s the gaping hole opening up in our collective humanity.

The absence of compassion.

The poverty of empathy.

It seems like kind people are an endangered species.

I don’t know whether they’ve gone or they’ve just gone silent, but the net result is that we have too many wounds and not enough healers. Our demand is far exceeding our supply right now.

Or maybe they’re still here and just being drowned out by the clanging bombast of a cruelty that demands and so easily gets our attention, and we just need to help people notice them again.  

All I know is that we need kind people—now.

We so need a Renaissance of goodness to be ushered in; a fierce revival of decency that sandblasts off the negativity and breaks open all these battle-hardened hearts, allowing us to be softer toward one another.

We need an army of steadfast, single-minded souls who wake every morning looking for the gaps in the world of gentleness and decency and who will not rest until they fill them, exhaustion and bruises and discomfort be damned.

This world is crying out for courageous people to step into the brutal and bloody trenches, armed with the pressing agenda to see those who feel invisible,
to listen to those dying to be understood,
to embrace those who imagine themselves unlovable,
to carry those who cannot take the step in front of them.

I know that this kind of kindness seems passé now—and that’s exactly why we need it.

Cynicism is addictive.

Once it gets into your bloodstream it isn’t easily flushed out.

Over time, the negativity begins to feel normal, the enmity ordinary, and eventually the muscles that allow you to care deeply begin to suffer atrophy and your empathy dies.

We can’t afford to allow our collective empathy to die on our watch. It is the beating heart of our shared humanity and we need to defend it with all we have.

Maybe the stories we tell ourselves are right.

Maybe we’re too polluted with pessimism to fix this.

Maybe we’ve learned to speak sarcasm so fluently that we aren’t capable of a simple vernacular of love anymore.  

I’m not ready to consent to that defeat.

Yes, something’s wrong here—but we’re here, too.

I want to believe we can make it right.

I think that’s the only worthwhile reason to be here.

Calling all kind humans.

We need you now.

 


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