Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Letters from Hilton, NY - Letter #2: On Kindness

Letter #2: On Kindness

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It’s been quite a month in Hilton, NY. Harry has been working on the component of spiritual health which is named “kindness.” Harry explained to us that kindness isn’t the same thing as being nice. Harry said, “Jesus was always kind but He wasn’t always nice.”

Elmer Sandbagger said, “You gotta be tough or people walk all over you. You gotta show them who’s boss.”

Karen Golden spoke up and said, “Elmer, you’re always so gruff. I know that deep down you have a heart of gold, but you sure don’t show it and people are a little afraid of you.”

“Too bad,” said Elmer. “It’s not my problem what other people think of me. I couldn’t care less.”

Ted Marketer chimed in, “It helps to be diplomatic if you’re going to make the sale. You’ve got to suck them in before you stick it to them. You know, get them to like you. Be nice.”

Jennifer Goldigger couldn’t help at this point to point out, “Getting them to like you is where the money is. You’ve got to butter them up whether you feel like it or not.”

Roy Christian blurted out, “But it’s not always kind to be nice. Buttering people up to manipulate them seems to me to be mean. You’re just manipulating them and playing them for fools.”

Jennifer replied, “Roy, as P.T. Barnum said, ‘There’s a sucker born every minute.’”
“I know,” said Roy, “but buttering them up just to take advantage of them seems mean to me.”

Jacob opined, “Politicians do it all the time. They look at people, smile at people, kiss babies, and lie right to their faces. I always wonder whether they believe their own nonsense.”

“Of course they do,” said Elmer, “or how could they live with themselves? I don’t think I have ever met a kind politician. There are plenty of nice ones, but it’s rare to find one who is kind. They’re too Machiavellian. You can’t trust any of them.”

Harry said, “There are plenty of mean people in the world who pretend to be nice and there are kind people who sometimes aren’t nice at all. It seems a little confusing, but of this I am sure: kindness is the true measure of a person because kindness takes integrity, compassion, honesty, and generosity. I am working on being more kind. I look for the little spark of goodness in every person and focus on that. I am intending to do a good deed daily and also do random acts of kindness.”

And that’s the way things have been in Hilton, NY this month where Harry is doing a good deed daily, Elmer has doubts about the idea of kindness to begin with, Jennifer is in it for the money, Ted turns on the charm to manipulate people, Jacob doesn’t have much respect for politicians, and yet they all seem to agree that increasing kindness would contribute to a better world.

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