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Sensitive Subject + a Call for Kindness

A few weeks ago I got to visit with my family in Portland, Oregon. It was my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah and my immediate family gathered for the first time since months before the onset of the pandemic. Side-note, my nephew JJ absolutely rocked reading from the Torah.

It was such a dream to witness his power, poise, and presence as a 13-year old going through a rite of passage, confidently co-leading ceremony with his loved ones as witness – just WOW!

As you can imagine, gathering with my family for a such a special occasion, after so much time apart, was an absolute blessing. I feel so grateful to have been able to make the trip.

Even if it meant me, the only one there, wearing a mask the entire time.

Sensitive subject: I wore a mask the entire time because I am not vaccinated.

Now before I go on, I want to name that this is not a political newsletter, nor my views on the Covid vaccine. It is, however, about me being honest with you and creating a call for more kindness in the world.

Now more than ever, we live in a polarized place. Split between political views, separated by social groups, disconnected due to values & beliefs.

Let’s face it, human-ing right now is hard for so many, especially when living life & choosing actions that are different from our loved ones.

But life and our human relating doesn’t have to be unkind, judgmental, or shaming.

Even with a difference of opinion, we can be kind. We are at choice, after all, with how we use our voice.

While I didn’t really want to wear a mask during the Bar Mitzvah weekend, I was absolutely happy to do so because I know it was what was needed to have peace. It was asked of me and, in order for others to feel safe and comfortable, I was willing to do so.

Does this make me weak?

No.

Does this make me create more kindness in the world?

Yes.

I am not an anti-vaxxer. I am pro-kindness for others.

I am a bridge builder.

Dear friend in my community, I share this with you in hopes you too can lean towards and call for more kindness.

That you can see that you can still own your beliefs while also caring for others. And that perhaps the next time you find yourself frustrated, upset or disappointed in another’s actions or belief system, because they are different from yours, you can still show up with care & build a bridge to kindness.

When you learn that someone isn’t vaccinated, or is, it might be easy to leap to conclusions or make a snarky comment. But the truth is, we don’t know the whole story. 

This person might have severe allergies to ingredients in the vaccine, and therefore it’s not safe for them. They might be breastfeeding or pregnant and concerned about the impact on their child. They might have a religious or spiritual objection.

Or, they might just simply feel safer in the world by receiving the vaccine.

A quick glance at someone’s masked or un-masked face doesn’t tell the whole story – so why not choose kindness rather than criticism?

Don’t you want to receive the same kindness from others?

It is possible to disagree and be kind at the same time.

As the Dalai Lama says, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” 

Thanks for your read here.

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I sincerely hope so!

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