Like so many, 45*s treatment of our European allies left me flabbergasted, outraged, and more than a little afraid. I’ve had several nights of near-sleeplessness as I considered the short- and long-term repercussions of his traitorous actions. I’ve had moments of deep despair as I grappled with my individual helplessness in the face of the shift in geopolitical realities. I’ve felt seething anger at the know-nothings in our own country who now see no problem with becoming a client-state of Russia. I’ve been rocked by the ongoing hypocrisy of Republican officials who are trying, with some success, to normalize the actions of Kushner and Flynn. I’ve had the roughest few days I’ve had since Election Night…and then I read this:
When Nero is on the throne, the Bible says to remember your purpose, hold fast to truth & press on in the way of revolutionary love.
— Rev. Dr. Barber (@RevDrBarber) May 28, 2017
And it reminded me that revolutionary love and radical kindness is one form of Resistance that is not dependent upon wealth or status or proximity to power; we all have the capacity for it, whether we recognize it or not. The challenge, of course, is to recognize and act when opportunities for radical kindness present themselves; to learn to wage love. It’s an ongoing challenge, and one for which frequent reminders are necessary. Consider this post one such reminder.
“There are radiant people of brilliant light still inhabiting this place.”
“There are radiant people of brilliant light still inhabiting this place.” https://t.co/wsj81GCbe5
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) May 28, 2017
We need to see the superheroes; to recognize the people who carry us, who lift us, who steady us when we are overcome by all that feels so very wrong. Each of us reach moments when we find ourselves at the limits of the weight we can bear, the bad news we can absorb, the cruelty we can endure. And when we are in those places of desperation, and we share space with people of compassion and decency and love and courage; in a way that is sometimes ambiguous and sometimes quite clear—they save us. They swoop into our living rooms, news feeds, and peripheral vision at just the right time, and remind us that we are not in this life alone. Sometimes that can be enough.
And the truth is, we all have this same potentially saving power. Because of this, we need to continue to speak and care and love and forgive, and do our work and raise our families and live well, and look into the eyes of strangers and to ask how they are and really want to know—because other people are watching us and counting on us. For someone else, either at close proximity or from a great distance, and in ways we may never realize—we might be the difference in the day.
“Ultimately I think kindness is the most radical thing you can do…”
here’s a concept: radical kindness ☀️ pic.twitter.com/sk9wmRuUJ7
— christina joy (@christinajoyyy) April 19, 2017
“To be kind to each other is the most incredible act of defiance against the dark that I can imagine.”
“But alongside the grief was an undeniable sense of community spirit.”
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 23, 2017
“I would say people have woken up to a very horrified city,” he said. “It’s not something that we’re used to. But … people are reaching out, still reaching out, to see if they can help in any way, which is fantastic.”
“Tell everyone on this train I love them”
Reporting that brings the reader to the verge of tears https://t.co/CmqJE9oZr4
— Nico Starr (@NicoJStarr) May 29, 2017
“I just kept telling him, ‘You’re not alone. We’re here,” Macy said. “What you did was total kindness. You’re such a beautiful man. I’m sorry the world is so cruel.”
Stories about people who responded to hostility with radical kindness, and what happened next: https://t.co/B593JeXI8A
— Your Passion Ignited (@YPIgnited) May 11, 2017
This is a professor at Michigan State University named Chris Hopwood. Chris spends his life looking at how people interact with each other. And one of the things that he looks at is called noncomplementary behavior. So the basic idea is that people naturally mirror each other.
So when someone is hostile to you, you are typically hostile back. Warmth begets warmth. And breaking this pattern – say, being really warm to somebody after they’ve been incredibly hostile to you – that is noncomplementary behavior. And according to Hopwood, it’s incredibly hard to do.
And now just cuteness and beauty and fun…
Just incase you’re having a bad day, here’s a pudgy bird pic.twitter.com/1l72VWI5qS
— Cute Emergency (@CuteEmergency) May 25, 2017
we all need some more giraffes in our life pic.twitter.com/rSu25BQ1jf
— Cute Emergency (@CuteEmergency) May 21, 2017
Turn that frown upside down! pic.twitter.com/UAZXx4ZOUI
— Cute Emergency (@CuteEmergency) May 27, 2017
— Rihem Sassi (@rihem_sassi) May 29, 2017
— Patti (@Patti1051) May 30, 2017