“Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.” That’s a well-known quote by writer Isaac Bashevis Singer.
And isn’t it true? Sometimes, I think kindness is becoming a forgotten quality. Our lives become so busy, so harried, that we don’t always stop to offer simple kind acts: a hello greeting to a cashier at a supermarket, saying thank you to someone who does something nice for us, attending church faithfully and reading about the Golden Rule, but not following it as soon as we get upset about something. Being kind can be an easy subject to read about, but a much harder act to do, especially in the face of terrible adversity.
Today marks the 19th anniversary of September 11, 2001, the day our country was mercilessly attacked by terrorists who wanted to wipe us out. The attack on America was one of the most horrific events in our nation’s history, an incredible antithesis of what it means to walk this earth as kind human beings. The terrorists hated us, and they acted out that hatred by attacking and killing some of us.
But goodness and kindness are an integral part of our internal fabric as Americans, and the terrorists’ hate attack on us failed miserably. It failed, not because of who they were, but because of who we are: imperfect human beings who overwhelmingly believe that qualities like love and kindness will ultimately win over hatred and evil.
On this day of remembrance called Patriots Day, let us pause and remember the selfless acts of kindness, courage and sacrifice that many of our fellow Americans made, both on that fateful day and afterward. Such heroic acts will always fly in the face of hatred and terrorism, and their life examples will continue to be remembered and revered through the eons of time, not only via the many history books and other forms of communication which chronicle such acts, but in the hearts of all of us who proudly call ourselves Americans.
On this 11th day of September, Mr. Singer’s timeless words especially bear repeating: “Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.”
Please be kind to one another, today and every day.