For The Greater Good

John Tumino does good work and is kind. He runs In My Father's Kitchen and spoke Thursday morning about Hire Ground which helps homeless people earn money by working. The real mission, he said, is getting people to the point where they're ready to change. Paid work, good food, fresh socks, real friendship, all of these are just the means to getting people to that point.

I believe in kindness. National news is largely bad, almost hopeless, but I still believe in kindness. This morning I worked out what kindness means to me.

Kindness is dependent on caring for our neighbors, especially those less fortunate, and understanding that almost everyone is less fortunate. We make our lives better through making other lives better.

Greed, thinking mostly of ourselves, is a path to misery. Doubt that? Think greed pays? Then just try to imagine the fraction of a man in the White House ever being happy. I've never seen a more miserable creature. In my kinder moments, I pity him. The rest of the time I have other feelings about him.

Even some of his stuff might turn out good, but being kind means doing good deliberately. John Tumino does that with In My Father's Kitchen. My wife does that working with pre-school teachers, kids, and their families. You likely do that raising children and caring for aging parents. Real kindness is the result of our choices.

Sometimes doing good is draining, tiring, and seems hopeless. Yet, we still know it is good. That's why we keep doing it.

That's also why I'm not hopeless yet. I believe in kindness because the alternative is a road to suicide and because I see kindness in my world, especially in my immediate vicinity. I'm shown kindness too often not to believe.

Does kindness win in the end? Maybe, but that's a foolish question. There is no winning nor any end. We continue living together, understanding and helping one another as best we can, and standing in opposition to the politics of greed.

Go buy some pasta sauce. Invite people to dinner. Keep believing and being kind. Do it for the greater good.