Back in the olden days, every time I went to rent a movie from Blockbuster, I saw the sign that said, “Please be kind and rewind.” That was so people would rewind the VHS tapes with the movies so the store didn’t have to. It was a bit of a pain, since those old VCRs took for EVER to rewind, but we did it because we were decent folk.
These days, I feel like the motto should be “Rewind and be kind.”
A lot of unkind rhetoric has been flung about and it’s too late to take it back. Too many unkind words have been spoken to rectify it with a half-hearted I’m sorry.
What we need is kindness, even if we don’t agree on stuff. Instead of talking over each other, maybe we need to talk less and listen more. That’s why we have two ears and one mouth — to listen twice as much as we talk. But most of us rarely listen at all. We hear to respond and not to understand. We’re planning our retort instead of paying attention.
Again, being kind doesn’t mean you endorse every single behavior or agree with everything the person says. You can love people and disagree with them. What would help us now more than anything is striving for kindness and seeking for understanding. That would go a long, long way in this divisive age.