The Kindness Contagion is a de-knuckler

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, October 18, 2023

By Les Ferguson, Jr.

I find myself sitting and staring at the screen for far too many moments and I wonder. Not a TV screen, but the blank screen of what needs to be a new column. 

Writer’s block you might be thinking, but if it were true writer’s block the screen would still be blank. 

Email newsletter signup

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say. I do. Sometimes I think I could write all day with ideas and thoughts that continually spiral through my mind. 

My normal problem isn’t having something to say, but more about focus and direction. 

What do I write? Who might need to hear it? How can I be a source of good news and hope? Can I write something to make you laugh and lift your spirits for a moment in time? 

You may not have thought about those questions before but read them again. A quick glance at wherever you get your news of the world and what you see is brutal. 

Saber rattling in the South China Sea. War in Ukraine. Terrorism in Israel with the most horrendous images I’ve ever seen. The ripples of these ongoing events threaten to wash up on our shores. In one form or another, I suspect they already have.

Ideology aside, our political processes are dysfunctional at best and dividing at worst. We see this on a national level and on our home front as well. 

If one (namely me) is not careful, one might find oneself a living, breathing Chicken Little. You remember him, right?  “The sky is falling; the sky is falling.”

Indeed. With the state of the world, it might seem like the heavens could come crashing down at any moment. However, at the risk of seeming indifferent to those suffering through no fault of their own (I promise I’m not indifferent at all – I am grieved greatly at injustice), I’d draw your attention to an event we both woke up to this morning.

Did you notice the night faded away as the sun rose? That means the earth is still spinning. Because you are aware of those things, I have a sneaky suspicion you are still breathing. And if you are still breathing, there is still hope. Better yet, there is still something each of us can do to fight the ugliness that threatens to engulf us.

It’s true that I’m personally limited in the ability to affect the suffering taking place across the far-flung reaches of our fair planet. I may lack the ability to affect your suffering now. But there is something I can do. I can be a beacon of kindness here where I live. And if I’m a beacon of kindness, I’m also a beacon of hope. 

The reality is, we are in this together. And in all honesty, there is no reason to not treat all with consideration, compassion, and care. 

Kind people bring hope. Kindness is contagious. Be the kindness you wish to receive. That ability is inherent in all of us if we would but use it.

Chances are you’ll run into a real knucklehead today. If not today, then certainly tomorrow. A little indiscriminate kindness goes a long way to de-knuckling even the worst of us knuckleheads. 

“And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” (Ephesians‬ 4‬:32‬ CSB)‬‬‬‬‬