As we approach the winter season the days get shorter and darkness is more evident in our daily comings and goings. I leave for the office in the dark, and in a few short weeks I’ll be coming home in the dark. Soon, the only daylight I’ll get to experience during my work week is during my brief walk to get a bite to eat at lunchtime. The seasonal darkness can bring on a variety of maladies, both emotional and physical. And it seems a harbinger of what may await us all.
We’re also approaching the mid-term elections during a political season that has been witness to unparalleled divisiveness and rancor. Our national politics have become so toxic and vile that it has caused friend to turn against friend, brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor. “Social media” has become anything but social as echo chamber groups and pages rail against the “other” whoever that “other” is perceived to be. Falsehoods and outright lies have become the new normal in the media, and some of our elected officials have made them an art form.
The effects of climate change rage on unabated and ignored in our nation. Even as hurricanes of unprecedented power continue to pound our coastlines and communities climate change deniers in all levels of our government continue to willfully ignore the science that proves a cause and effect relationship between human carbon emissions, global warming and extreme weather. Despite still suffering from the effects of Irma, Maria, Harvey and Florence, hurricane Michael has just wrought havoc on Florida and the Carolinas with at present 11 deaths and an estimated 13-19 billion dollars of damage.
So, with all this bad news and seasonal darkness on the horizon, what can we do? First: get involved in your community. Volunteer, run for local office, start a small business, get active in your chosen faith. Be the change you wish to see. Second: vote. Not voting is NOT a protest; it is NOT taking a position: it is surrender.
And lastly, as the title of this piece says, be kind. Someone much wiser than me said that, and despite how hard it is to do, all the time, every kindness we bestow on another is a small blessing that moves us all a bit closer to the world we want to make for those to follow us tomorrow, and for us to live in, today.