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Sam Dobson Writes: When the World is Going to Shit, Just be Kind

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

When the World is Going to Shit, Just be Kind

In my sophomore year of high school, I had a weekly current news assignment in my history class in which we were to report on some piece of current events. I used to absolutely dread this easy task. On one particularly bad day, I decided to tell my teacher how much I disliked this piece of homework. I'm not sure if he was actually intrigued or if he was just placating me, but either way he asked me to explain my issue was this assignment. I was honest; I told him that I felt the news was extremely depressing and that I didn't care to watch it or follow it. I was very sure of my feelings at the time.

Fast forward about ten years or so, I still find the news terribly sad and worrisome, but I do follow it fairly regularly. Having grown up just a tad, I understand that it is important to keep up with current events, politics, and other news. So, I listen to news-talk radio when driving to and from work and I keep up with news websites, reading as many articles as I find interesting. But the catch is that it still deflates my happy moods, as I am sure it does to most people. 

This morning, while drinking my coffee, I browsed Yahoo News. A lot is going in the world today. People are pissed about a lot of things, the Zimmerman acquittal, the Boston bomber making front page of Rolling Stone magazine, a US leaker seeking asylum, immigration reform, health care legislation...the list goes on and on. All of this tension and hate wrapped up in a convenient little package on my computer screen. I started thinking about how I am certainly no political activist nor am I a civil rights movement leader, but that doesn't mean I don't want to help make this world a better place.

So where do we find balance? I am talking about those of us who want to do good but realistically aren't going to spend their entire life campaigning for world peace. Don't misunderstand me, I applaud those who dedicate their lives to helping others and doing everything they possibly can to make this world a better place. But like most people, I am more selfish than that. I want to enjoy my life. It all happens so fast, I don't want to miss out on what's right in front of me. It's about passion. You should be doing what you are most passionate about. Saving the world's humanity is the passion of some great people, but sadly it isn't mine. I'm passionate about animals, so I volunteer and manage a small dog rescue group. It isn't much but it's what works for me. That doesn't mean I don't want to do my part in the broad spectrum of things. So, I came up with a few reminders for myself, things I can do every day to do my part in making this world a better place. 

How To Be Kind

I know these sayings are things we have all had beaten into our brains many times over, but that doesn't mean they aren't important. Just think, if everyone practiced kindness and let go of prejudice our world would be much better off. I am not preaching for less action to be taken (I am not preaching at all), I am simply giving myself a realistic way to be a better person. I am being realistic. I won't be mass producing picket signs anytime soon, so I might as well make these habits a part of my daily life. It's all about living kindly. If we are kind to each other and to our planet, we will have a much better chance of surviving happily and surviving longer. Wasn't it Jewel who sang "in the end, only kindness matters"? I believe there is truth in that. I believe that simple acts of kindness can heal our world. I believe in kindness. 

Kindly yours, 

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