There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met

There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met. – William Butler Yeats

I saw this on an Irish pub wall once. I thought it was a beautiful sentiment.

I am told I am friendly and to me it is because you never know when someone could be a possible friend. At the very least, there is no reason to make things difficult for other people. I have spoken about kindness often, and I think kindness doesn’t have a goal like friendship, it is just a nice reward.

I think that one of the side effects of the current political climate is that it gives people license to engage their jerk genes. The genes that say “my group is right and yours is wrong and should be punished.” We see people who use their privilege to hurt others for no purpose. We see people in positions of power and trust hurt others and seem to enjoy the process. We elect those people thinking they will help us, and they end up hurting everyone.

Listen I get it. You are scared and uncertain about the future. Join the crowd. We don’t know what the future will hold but it is very clear that it is full of hope. Yes we have many social issues, but the biggest social issue is how we treat each other. I had a mentor once tell me that if everyone followed the golden rule of treating others how they wish to be treated, there wouldn’t be any problems.

As much as possible we have to treat people better than they deserve, because when we don’t, we hurt everyone. As much as possible we have to find kind ways to respond to the unkind things that others do.

To paraphrase the old Ferengi saying “Kindness begins at home”