What a story. If you have a few minutes this morning, read it. I am one of those — like you, I hope — blessed never to have encountered the world’s brutality. No whizzing bullets over my head. Which just serves to remind me [schmaltz alert] how important are simple messages of kindness like the Pope’s.
Speaking of whom (the Pope) . . . when it came out that he had hugged the rather sadly over-zealous Kim Davis (for whom Mike Huckabee would gladly serve jail time, so strongly does he believe the Supreme Court should not get the last word in matters of civil law), quite a few folks immediately assumed the worst. Just as they did years ago when a Howard Dean interview aired on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club (wherein Howard stood up for equality) or any number of times in the first few years of the Obama Administration. We tend to do that — as though a lifelong progressive would suddenly become the enemy. But guess what? The Pope remains a mensch . . . as recounted here.
And speaking of which (messages of kindness), I learned about Operation Respect last night in a living room with 20 people, Peter Yarrow, and his guitar. The essence of it, sparing you the trip, was this six minutes [again I need to post a schmaltz alert, hard-bitten sophisticates that we are]. It’s not from Album 1700 or Late Again, my two favorite Peter, Paul and Mary albums. It’s a song that any humilated 9-year-old will understand: “Don’t Laugh At Me.”
The Don’t Laugh at Me programs . . . are based on the well-tested, highly regarded conflict resolution curricula developed by the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program of Educators for Social Responsibility. . . . More than 180,000 copies of the program have been distributed to educators since Operation Respect’s inception. . . .
Kindness. What a concept.