Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

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.)


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

10 Responses

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  1. c4c

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    August 23, 2021 at 9:56 am

  2. Just thought of this.

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    August 24, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    • LOL!

      Thanks, Paul. That made my day — or night, as the case may be. 😉

      Barb Caffrey

      August 25, 2021 at 7:03 pm

  3. The origin of this quote may not suit everyone’s belief system, but the sentiments have to resonate, yeah?
    (bit unfair on using ‘goats’ as a term though)

    Matthew 31-40
    31“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
    32All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
    33And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
    34Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
    36I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
    37“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
    38When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
    39Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
    40And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’


    September 8, 2021 at 4:36 am

    • That is absolutely right, Roger.

      Another author-friend of mine, Ryk Spoor, has pointed out something that’s in the Chronicles of Narnia. Basically, Aslan said that if good was done even in the evil god’s name (Tarsh? I forget the evil god’s name), it was done for Aslan’s sake. And if evil was done in Aslan’s name, it was done for Tarsh’s sake.

      We have to somehow keep trying to be our best selves. The pandemic and every bit of stress that it’s brought with it has made it harder to access our best selves, granted. But refusing to try is not an option. (And I thought your Psalm quote an excellent choice.)

      Barb Caffrey

      September 9, 2021 at 1:19 am

      • It’s the dilemma of this which interests me. Particularly where is the line when a seemingly bad deed is for good. Or the other way around.
        There’s a great deal of moral ambiguity in my books, that’s why true villains who seek their gratifications at the pain of others don’t figure much, but there are a great number of folk doing what they feel is necessary; a dangerous path to tread.


        September 9, 2021 at 3:47 am

      • Yeah. Agreed on that.

        I look forward to reading your books as they’re on my Kindle now. 🙂

        And the big series for moral ambiguity I can remember would be Donaldson’s space opera epic — I’m forgetting the name of it now, but by the end of it the villain turns out to be the hero and the so-called hero from the first book turns out to be the villain IIRC. (It’s a five-book series.)

        And there’s an author, Mindy Klasky, that you might like if you enjoy reading ambiguous SF/F. (She also writes contemporary fantasy and paranormals, but her straight-up fantasy is excellent. She had one about a woman learning how to become a glassmaker (it has a very slight magical component, I think, though it’s been a long time since I read it), and that series went to three-four books IIRC.

        Barb Caffrey

        September 10, 2021 at 6:30 pm

      • Thank you so much Barb.😀, I do hope they meet your expectations. Aside from the length there are mash-ups of all sorts of genres.
        (There might have to be a post to explain my overall intentions 🤔)


        September 11, 2021 at 2:55 am

      • Well, my Elfyverse series is a mash-up of sorts with humor, romance, fantasy, satire, fish out of water story, and more romance (YA romance, I might add; it is not graphic at all and shouldn’t be). So I should feel right at home with your stuff.

        Barb Caffrey

        September 11, 2021 at 5:18 pm

      • I do admire how YA authors can write stories which pack the right sort of punches and thrills as the more adult versions. There some very impressive works out there. And now the Elfyverse is calling too.😀
        There are graphic interludes in my books, but I try to emphasise the emotions of love and honest attraction- most difficult passages ever written.


        September 12, 2021 at 2:44 am

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