Posted by: Judy | October 24, 2016

Meme Debunking, sort of…

There are a series of memes that I struggle with, every time I see them. They all declare the same theme, to varying degrees.

The base message: “Always be kind” or “Choose to be kind.”

I feel guilty for often ignoring them, scrolling by, and even when I do “Like” it. I do, and I don’t, like it. I understand the sentiment behind the meme, but frankly, it’s wrong.

The first rebuttal I anticipate is: “You’re a Christian. What would Jesus do?”

There was a time when it would have flattened me. Now, my first response is: “As long as you’re open to turning over tables and chasing the wicked with whips, we can have this discussion. Otherwise, the question is only a manipulation tactic, which isn’t kind.”

Grace for my Heart shared a post on “Collateral Narcissism,” in which he states that being kind only gets you hurt.

https://graceformyheart.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/collateral-narcissism/

Sometimes, one must choose to be wise, and sometimes being wise isn’t kind.

Then again, perhaps the problem, in part, lies in the definition of “kindness.” I know I’ve discussed this before. I remember mentioning in another post that what is kind to one person is not kind to another.

I kindly shared a post on social media on how to make Jell-O “worms” for Halloween. If someone shared it with me, I’d question how well they knew me. I’m a bit squeamish about some things. However, I knew my sister would love it, so I ignored my squeamishness and kindly shared it to be sure she’d see it.

I’m currently in a situation where I’m constantly struggling with what is kind, what is smart, and what is honest. And herein lies the real problem:

Who gets to decide what is kind?

I’ve watched movies that share the message that a lie that brings a smile is better than a truth that draws a tear. Wow. Talk about emotional manipulation and blackmail.

Too often, those who demand that everyone “Be Kind” have an agenda of what kindness looks like, and frankly it has little to do with the truth. Is lying truly kind? They will weigh their answer and give an emphatic yes.

Rule #1: Stop lying, especially to yourself.

Perhaps what I would prefer is:

If unsure of what to do, err on the side of kindness.

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