Don’t you love it when there’s something you’ve been mulling over and the universe responds without being prompted? What I’ve been thinking about is “kindness” and lo and behold, Sunday was Mr. Rodger’s Birthday. His vibe must have been influencing things.
Sunday was also the night my book club met, and last month’s book was Light from Uncommon Stars. It’s a difficult book to summarize without spoilers, so I won’t try, but one of the things we talked about was how the book (as we now say) centered kindness. And how few books — including romance(!) — were particularly “kind”. One of the members of my club is the amazing Di Herald and one other member tasked her with the creation of a list of “kind” books. We’ll see.
Then yesterday I attended the funeral of one of my cousins. The thing that most people talked about was that he was kind. He was the one who arranged and organized Cousins Dinners. He was the one who reached out to ensure we were all ok, all in touch with each other. He created community at his temple, his condo complex, his travel companions. That’s not to imply he was a saint, but that his intention was to be kind (which was sometimes not quite received that way… as is the case with many kind intentions when dealing with family).
Many libraries are experimenting with kindness in the guise of getting rid of overdue fines. Providing a safe space for the communities they serve is also kind. Maintaining a diverse collection filled with window, doors and mirrors is kind. For me, creating opportunities that allow students time to relax and forget (for a few moments) the rigors of academia or problems with roommates or parents.
I’m hoping Di creates that list, because it would be wonderful to highlight those books during this time when it seems that there is a lot of unkindness out there.