Friday, January 4, 2013

The Kindness Manifesto

The ever so talented J. V. Shepperd, a great friend and a woman of wisdom, shared with me her manifesto at the dawn of 2013. I asked her permission to let my readers in on it, and she kindly agreed.

What if we all owned a safe and comfortable house in a village where humanity was sacrosanct and the community robust from the benefit of every resource at work on the elimination of disease, the provision of clean water and defense of the world peace we take for granted? 

Our towns could be the infrastructure of whole states and countries whose battles are fought with and over words, sentence structure, placement in the line.  A conquest between poets, or patterns and colors of light splashed on the concrete walls of our enduring structures.  The enemy's wounds and our own would be painful, unforgettable, perhaps a salve in our eventual healing but never fatal.

War's prize is communication with the booty of shared wisdom.  Let the entire nation rejoice in the beauty that one city can make over another. And if language is the construct that shapes what we are, our words would define, compel and invent us, and outside the walls of our civilization "destruction" is left on the pavement, idle, empty and unable to kill, where it proves no threat to an unknown future of unformed and magnificent ideas that can't be splayed across a classroom in the dead brains of formerly growing minds.

Fear, hatred and its cruelty are sheathed by intelligence, tolerance and the inability of ignorance to take the day.  Religion isn't our difference but our celebration and borders aren't east west divisions with covetous lines but passageways.  Savagery is not in the lexicon by noun or engagement. 

And if our laws provide us with allegiance - it is to meaning and theory, not to the practice of what already exists. Because improvement is a constant democracy that we owe to our children.   

If it's true that only crazy people believe that they can change the world, then let's be crazy and change. 

And in the 2013 months to come let's hold ourselves in check to the things that we could say in favor of goodwill that just may become the default in silence, and make kindness our quiet declaration.