Friday Philosophy: Kindness

It’s been a tough week with so much financial disaster going on.  At least I suppose it is disaster for some.  Having lived five dozen years, I sort of accept this sort of thing as the periodic consequences of “business as usual.”

The cliche that comes to mind is, “The more things change, the more things stay the same.”  Which is, of course, not really true, except in a truthiness sort of way.  When things change, there is change.  The question is how we, as a society, respond to that change.  Mostly what I have observed is “kicking and screaming.”  There has certainly not been a calm and rational acceptance of change in our society, any more than most people accept substantive change in their own personal view of the world.

But sometimes we have to accept monumental change, or at least the possibility of it, in order to progress as a species.  That there have generally been some negative side-effects to accompany such change is regrettable.  I tend to thing that those negatives often result from those who cannot adjust to the change in a rational, pro-Earth (and all the beings that inhabit this planet) manner.  But the world has never really seemed interested in what I think, it seems, so maybe that’s not all that worthy a subject to pursue.

But I wonder.  I have always wondered.  There is plenty to wonder about.  “What if?”  Isn’t that what separates us from those who are not of our species?  Aren’t we just the beings whom have never been able to stop asking, “What if?”

In a perfect world, perhaps, a world full of people who had the critical thinking skills that humans are capable of possessing but so seldom apply, our What If? moments would lead to positive change for the benefit of the entire Gaean ecosystem.  We wouldn’t be spending so much angst, sturm und drang, and counterproductive effort trying to rescue people who are essentially nothing more than gambling addicts from the inevitable result of their own behavior.  But then, in my perfect world, we wouldn’t spend so much time on these politics games either, where a bunch of lawyers compete in a popularity contest for who gets to “lead” areas of this planet defined by artificial boundaries, boundaries whose sole purpose seems to be to keep us human beings at each others’ throats.

The promise of peace is an illusion as long as we perceive places and people on this planet to be foreign.  Perhaps we will only unify if our species can exist long enough for us to become aware of some other sentient species some elsewhere.  The duality seems to require that in order to become an Us, we must establish a Them.  And isn’t that a shame?

It is also unfortunate that we don’t seem to need those lines carved into our globe to divide us; we do it anyway.  Human beings, or at least Americans, seem all too quick to carve those lines between our communities and families, or even in the social fabric…and sometimes right through the backs of some of the individuals.  We have learned to be way too unkind.

Earlier today, buhdy asked,

What would THAT future hold?

It would hold kindness.  Our sense of community would grow rather than diminish, as it has continuously done since I was born.  With a burgeoning growth of the instinct towards kindness would come a lessening of the fear that other people are out to do us wrong which causes us to erect the walls which divide us, would grow the trust that we are all in this together and have the best chance at good lives if we all worked together.

If I knew what magical incantation could turn on that light, I would utter those words.

All I can promise is that I will keep trying.



Too many words

float in the ether

ethereal thoughts

about what could be

about a perfect future


by a fractured present

lived by wounded people

existing unsoundly

on a damaged planet

silently flogged

by the raging insanity

of individual greed

unkind cuts

mysteriously appearing

in the decaying flesh

of our better natures

Turn back the song of sadness

of broken dreams and fear

And sing your song of gladness

so everyone can hear

Embrace the kindness in us

Emit the unity

Together we can win us

A better destiny

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–September 19, 2008


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    • Robyn on September 20, 2008 at 00:03

    Don’t want to leave anyone hanging. 🙂

  1. i guess the only part that doesnt resonate with me is that, much to my own dismay, i have recently found within myself a distain of which i previously thought myself incapable…but its object isnt separated from me by any line on a globe, but by ideological differences.

    i feel more kinship with the screwed-over of the world than with the ‘others’ of my own nationality.  

    but the fact that i have indeed identified such a reaction within myself is the reason that this essay does resonate….only, like i said, different object for me.

    …and yet with today’s release of scientific studies suggesting that political orientation is genetic, i dont wonder that it will always be this way…on whatever scale we’re able to eke out an existence.   sigh…  

  2. …it’s not about kindness, exactly.  But it made me happy:

    Long and short of it: she won.  

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