Today is the final installment of my Kindness 101 series. I started it as one commissioned piece for Natalie Hamilton (@hammyton on Periscope, @nhammyton on twitter) but it turned into an entire series. This final one also happened to be in conjunction with me filling in for Natalie to do her daily Periscope #bekind101 challenge while she was on vacation. You can see the scope at the bottom of this post.
The world is filled with arguments. It isn’t just some current thing, it’s has always been filled with it. And many arguments are needed and necessary. We need to argue about policies of our government. We need to argue about what laws to pass and why.
But what we don’t need to do is argue in such a way that we are unkind. These can happen politics of course, but it’s usually amateur wannabe politicians who are the most cruel. Professional politicians and diplomats understand that even if you disagree with someone you will likely still need to work with them. And that isn’t going to happen if you trash them publicly. It’s why negative campaigning is always so hard to watch or listen to and it’s one of the reasons Donald Trump is so worrisome to many. The idea that he could be negotiating with a foreign power and calling them ‘loser’ or ‘3rd rate’ make people worried that it could lead to a disaster.
In most day-to-day cases, in person but especially online, arguing can often become so important to someone that they forget about being kind. They become hurtful and mean in a personal attack on a person instead. It even gets to the point that when a person tries to be kind to both sides in an argument and see each other’s position with some compassion and understanding, that person can be vilified from both sides as being not pure enough in their position. It can be a vicious cycle.
Recently for example the case of Kim Davis has been in the news. She is the Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. She even went to jail over Labor Day weekend for being in contempt of court. I disagree with her position, simple as that. HOWEVER, I am not against her personally. I am not going to attack her religion or her marriage history or her or her husband’s clothing style. I think it is completely and utterly irrelevant. Not only that, it’s mean and hurtful. Putting that forward among many online who disagree with her position leads me to be suspect. I am not sufficiently angry. I am not sufficiently willing to attack her on all fronts.
But I think we should choose kindness even in the midst of our argument against her position and that means we don’t attack her personally.
You can view the periscope video that shows the creation of the drawing and the discussion about the ‘Kindness101 Challenge’ here.
Drawing and commentary © 2015 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
Quote by Wayne Dyer, 1940-2015, American author and speaker