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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

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