Skip to main content

Kindness and the Culture of Death

I don't know why, but I have noticed a great deal of cruelty lately. It's not the "let's beat up the little kid for his lunch money" or physical assaults, but more the (unfortunately) mundane daily variety: snarky remarks, mean comments behind the cloak of the internet, rolling of eyes and gossipy ways. It's really bothering me.

I do believe it's strongly related to what Bl. John Paul II referred to as the "culture of death". In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, he noted that we had moved from a culture that celebrated and supported life to one where death is efficiently and systemically promoted.

As I said, the cruelty I've noticed doesn't mean anyone is dead - unless of course you count the death of the soul. And we all know that old saying of "sticks and stones" isn't true at all - words can wound. They have the power to lift up, enlighten, praise and empower, but our words also can cut, demean, mar and crush.

All of this is making me weary. I am tired of dealing with meanness and cruelty, and I know that I am quite capable of both. So I am going to try to be kind with my words, my thoughts (oh, that's the tough one!) and my actions. What about you?

There could hardly be a more un-Christian way of living than to go about in such a way as to depress and to discourage other people. --William Barclay

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…