The Simplest Of Things

I learned kindness certainly from my parents and school, but mostly (surprising or not) from pop culture – through things like the Muppets, music, Saturday morning cartoons, comic books, the Muppets, PBS shows, network sitcoms, Disney movies, Star Wars, and the Muppets.

Only later in life did I appreciate the more elegant vehicles such as the fine arts and religion. And while their sophistication and refined productions can awe and inspire, the lesson is no different.

It isn’t complicated.

Whether you learn kindness from the Muppets or from the Buddha, from your kindergarten teacher or from the Pope, from Schoolhouse Rock or from the Gospels, the simple human lesson is the same, every time.

Every religion, every morality tale, every philosophy, every governing core of society… they all teach:

Kindness (caring) leads to sympathy (understanding) which leads to empathy (helping).

Selfishness (not caring) leads to fear (ignorance) which leads to hate (violence).

Learning kindness is the simplest of life’s lessons.

It is the stuff of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

It is the Golden Rule.

Why people can’t learn it, why they can’t get it as easily as 2+2, why they need a lifetime of being taught it, why they conveniently abandon it, why they easily ignore it… why, I will never understand.

Is selfishness that addictive?

Well… I just don’t understand it.

I just don’t.



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Jerry James

Jerry James

husband, father, RN, music lover, kindness fan