The Season of Kindness

Kindness should have no season. We should strive for it all year round, but somehow the time around the holidays seems to remind people to be kind and generous. The beauty of kindness is that it is free.

Yesterday I ran into a friend who has had a tough year. She related some things to me that people have said to her that added to her difficulty rather than alleviating it. I am certain these people were purposely trying to be mean, but at the same time they weren’t trying to be kind. Most of it was small talk where they were just filling an empty space of not knowing what to say with words that turned out to be extremely hurtful. Sometimes kindness means not saying anything at all.

Today 45 cut 750,000 people off the roles for a Food Stamps. The new rule says that if you are able bodied and don’t have a child under six you have to work to be able to get food stamps. There are many people who will have their food stamps cut who will be hurt, like the person who who takes care of an elderly of invalid relative and therefore can’t work outside the house. Or the people who live in rural areas where there really aren’t jobs, or the homeless. Cutting these food stamp benefits right at Christmas is the opposite of kind.

Food stamps don’t just help the people who use them for food. They put money into the local economy because they are redeemed at local stores which make a profit and employee local people who earn a wage. Food stamps are such a minor cost to the federal government but makes a huge difference to the individuals who need them. The stress of losing these benefits just piles on to vulnerable people who already are under stress.

I am going to work extra hard to be kind right now, knowing that I have no idea what people I encounter in the world are dealing with. It seems like kindness is my only weapon to combat the horrible things that are going on that I have no control over. Maybe we can work to spread kindness and it can go viral. I’m tired of the meanness.

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