Let’s practice compassion and perhaps the world could be a gentler place amid these trying time. (K-J Millar - The Northern View)

Let’s practice compassion and perhaps the world could be a gentler place amid these trying time. (K-J Millar - The Northern View)

Smith: COVID-19 creating a heartless society?

Kindness and respect, now is not the time to go all ‘should’ on each other

On the heels of a day dedicated to honouring those who sacrificed so much for us, and in a world ripe with sanctimonious attitudes, I can’t help but wonder whatever happened to respect?

There’s an old saying that respect is earned, not given. Or is that trust?

Either way, I think that expression is completely out of date and out of touch.

Why shouldn’t we offer everyone our respect (or trust for that matter)? Is it because of our own jaded past, our wretched experiences with unsavoury souls that makes us hold that trust and respect close, unwilling to lend it to anyone new?

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When you think about it, that really isn’t fair. How dare we let our past cast a shadow on our future? Is that fair to anyone new and innocent who could turn out to be a great friend, a partner or a colleague?

There’s a saying I learned a while ago about not “should-ing” on ourselves or others. “You should do this,” or “you should do that.” We’ve all done it, and we’ve all heard it. It’s seemingly innocent advice giving, but it is also unnecessary. Plus, it’s really not nice to “should on” anyone.

Now, more than ever, a little more compassion and kindness is needed in this world. People are stressed about their health, their jobs, their future, their children. It’s making us all a little on edge and even pushing some over. Sadly, many people have become cold and callous. Whether it’s over differing political views or COVID-19 beliefs.

People just do not offer kindness as freely as they cast judgment. And everyone seems to have their own self-righteous opinion of everything.

I can’t say I’m not guilty of the same. Especially with all the stress and despair in the world right now.

But what if, instead of robbing Peter to feed Paul’s ego, we gave each other the benefit of the doubt?

What if we offered respect to one and all? It’s free to give. And if someone lets you down, it’s also free to take back. Or maybe they will surprise you and earn even greater respect.

Perhaps the world could be a gentler place if we all just showed a little more compassion to each other first.

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