Choose Kindness

July 11, 2021

From Low Entropy Volunteer Writer Ellie Gibbard.

As the world continues to go through devastation and grief, I think that we need to keep reminding ourselves of the phrase “in a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

This week I connected with a young woman in one of my online summer classes who moved to Canada from India three years ago. Seeing her pop up in one of my breakout rooms this week reminded me that her family and friends are still living in India. I decided to reach out and ask her how she was doing with all of the tragic COVID-19 deaths that are occurring there. Her response was heartbreaking – and not just because of what her family is experiencing.

Much of her family have/had COVID-19, including her parents, and some of her close friends are in critical condition. The loss she had experienced was overwhelming. She found it hard to put the helplessness and grief she was feeling into words. Hearing this was hard, but somehow still not the worst part about what she had to say. She said that the messages and words she had received from the non-Indian people in her community had been of blame, hate and disrespect. In response to a “pray for India” post, she received messages like, “Why would we pray for you when you probably didn’t pray for other countries when they suffered?” Others remarked that it was India’s fault and that the country deserved what was happening.

Millions of people are dying. When someone is experiencing loss of any kind, the first response should not be to search for and place blame. Knowing that someone is going through something of this level of tragedy gives us an opportunity to support them and love them, not to tell them that their country asked for it.

As many tragic and devastating events continue to ruthlessly take place around the world, we are provided with opportunities to spread love, or place blame and spread hate. When these opportunities arise, choose to spread kindness and love into people’s lives. Staying educated on why certain things are happening is important, but we can do that while still being kind and supportive.

Choose to spread love, choose to be supportive, choose to be kind.

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