BOOMER TALK: Choose kindness

Let’s all send our love to all of those in the LGBT community

There is a lot written on social media these days about kindness and caring for others. I love it, but somehow it sounds too simplistic, as if being kind would fix all the woes of the world.

As a counsellor, I too can be guilty of being cheesy, or too simplistic with some of my suggestions. However, the truth is, most things in life are simple. Quite frankly, being kind would indeed fix most of the worlds woes. It really is that simple.

But, for some reason, we feel obliged to complicate pretty much everything in our lives. We complicate things by making ourselves ridiculously busy, staying in relationships where love no longer exists, or by cultivating some belief that creates judgment and pain toward others.

It was judgment that caused the horrendously excruciating hatred and subsequent killing of 49 innocent people in search of love and acceptance at a gay night club in Florida.  I felt physically ill when I heard this, as I am sure a lot of readers did as well.

Any doctrine that leads to or espouses such judgmental hatred toward any group is vile in any form.  Their venomous words and subsequent actions belie an evilness that is sickening to the core.

Being kind may sound simplistic, but it has phenomenal power on many levels. Imagine if all people were kind to one another, despite their different views.  Imagine if all people made a small attempt to understand another’s difference and then honour that difference.

In the 1980s, while living in Winnipeg, I produced a photographic (slide show with audio) documentary on the life of a young man living with AIDS.  It was called “Love, Kevin.” Kevin Masterson and I worked together for one year. He recorded his daily life in a journal and later on audio tape and I recorded his life photographically.

Despite already being very aware of judgment and hatred in our world, I became even more painfully aware of it while working with Kevin.

Kevin suffered from the wasting disease aspect of AIDS.

Therefore, he was painfully thin, and given he was about six-foot-two, it made his thinness noticeable. We would go to a restaurant and sit down and people would move away from us. I think the servers were worried and I wondered if they threw out the dishes he used.  (yes, that actually happened in a restaurant in the States during that time)  We all learned a new word – homophobia.  My friend Kevin died in 1991. I loved him like a brother.

Fear is at the root of all judgment. Ego is involved, as you worry about what others think if they see you with someone you have judged in a derogatory manner.

So, please be kind to one another. Do not judge others simply because they are different than you are. We are all different and that is what makes friends, family and other human beings interesting. We can all learn and share from one another.

Let’s all send our love to all of those in the LGBT community and to all of those who vicariously felt the pain of this immense loss of humanity in Orlando.

Practise kindness. It really is that simple.

Carole Fawcett is a counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist and freelance writer.