Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for August 23rd, 2021

Kindness Matters

with 10 comments

Folks, the last week has been often frustrating. The news — particularly the airlifts from Afghanistan after the collapse of their government, and the pullout of American troops — has been depressing in the extreme. And it’s seemed that nothing I can do — or that anyone could do — will matter.

That is an illusion. (Granted, one that’s particularly difficult to fight.)

Why?

Well, kindness matters. And one action — one kind thought, word, or deed — can change things for the better.

For example, some of the folks airlifted from Afghanistan are being housed, temporarily, at Fort McCoy up in Sparta, WI. (It’s actually kind of in between Sparta and Tomah. Both are smallish communities.) There are opportunities there to help the Afghani refugees; money is already being collected, I read at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, to help them acclimate to the United States. (I saw $50 increments, perhaps as gift cards to Target or Walmart, being suggested. But I’d imagine smaller amounts of money will also help, and I’m actively looking for ways to put my small amount of money with other people’s small amounts of money…again, I digress.)

These are kind acts for people who’ve lost everything, including their own culture and language.

(Yes, Americans are also being airlifted from Afghanistan, along with at-risk Afghani people such as former translators and others who worked with the U.S. government. But the Americans know how to acclimate. The Afghanis don’t.)

There are other kind things that you, or I, can do today.

“Barb, what are they? Since you won’t get off this subject, I may as well ask,” you say, in resignation.

Well, they start with talking to a friend you don’t often get to spend time with. (I did that last night. My friend and I chatted as I did laundry at the laundromat, by phone. Too bad I couldn’t do laundry by phone. Ah, well. Better get back to the blog…) Or, if you’re in the grocery store, helping someone who is a bit short with buying groceries to get what they need. (Only do this if you, yourself, can afford it.) Or maybe even something as simple as opening up an umbrella, and letting a stranger share with you, in a downpour…the options are endless, providing you keep an open mind and vow to do unto others as they’d do unto you. (Or as the Wiccans say, “An ye harm none, do what thou wilt.” It’s much the same philosophy.)

Ultimately, kindness is one of the strongest forces in the universe. It may not seem that way, with endless bad news happening day after day, from the never-ending pandemic to the Afghanistan mess to various state legislatures contemplating their own navels rather than trying to do anything productive. But without kindness, what would be the point?

After all, love starts with an act of kindness most of the time, doesn’t it? (It would be very, very odd if love started with acts of indifference. Or worse, outright hatred.)

Love is the strongest thing there is. But kindness, charity toward others, and the willingness to care even when all seems lost — as those poor Afghanis still undoubtedly care, up at Fort McCoy, getting used to a place they’d never before envisioned — is a close second.

So, whatever you do today, do it with kindness. Try to help a friend. Or even a stranger. But do it, because it’s the right thing to do.

Further the writer sayeth not.

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 23, 2021 at 5:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized