Showing kindness is becoming a lost art in our society.  Watching parents at sporting events, along with the present election coverage on TV and radio, has almost convinced me that our society no longer knows how to be kind.  Have we actually become a modern day Sparta where offspring who were seen as weak were killed? 

I was in college during the 60s when protests and questioning one’s upbringing were in full swing.  Yet, I don’t recollect the ongoing meanessI see happening all around me today.  This is not my age painting my perspective…it is fact as reported daily in the news, on the internet, and in our schools and places of business.  I do remember noting throughout the past decades that TV increased the uses of put downs to the point that I haven’t watched a weekly comedy since the Reba show was popular.  It appears from the ads I see that, according to TV, all families have dysfunctional parents and very smart wise-cracking children.  American men seem to be portrayed as intellectual dwarfs!

There have always been class clowns in school.  Today, however, anyone who seeks a moment of attention from his peers seems to choose a put down or a cut-low as his mode of operation.  I do enjoy and am thankful for the one or two students who choose a kind word for others.  They are few and far between.  So, I make it my aim to acknowledge that whenever it occurs.

My husband and I were in a Subway getting a sandwich when we noticed a father with two teenage sons ordering.  Both young men were polite, spoke kindly, and treated their father with respect.  We were so impressed that we bought their meals for them.  They told us it wasn’t necessary; our compliments were enough.  But my husband insisted, saying it is necessary.  Perhaps if more people complimented acts of kindness they see happening around them, the idea will spread.  My elementary students are looking for SCAMO… Showing Caring Among Myself and Others.  We tell them no one wants to celebrate a SCAM.  That’s true whether it is self-indulgence or cheating someone else.         

-        Kay