A few months back I posted my Kindness blog and accompanying meme, and it got a lot of likes. Perhaps not surprisingly, folk like the idea of kindness. Why wouldn't they? We all recognise it when we experience it, which suggests that we must also recognise how to do it? But, as another Christmas comes and goes, so do the short lived messages of hope and goodwill, and we are back to abusing each other on the Internet again.
In case we have actually forgotten how to be kind, I mean, genuinely kind, I thought I might post some suggestions for 2018.
1. If someone tells you that they are lesbian, gay, straight, bi, trans, queer or intersex, male, female, non-binary or gender fluid; that their preferred pronouns are he, she, they, or it; that they are black, white or brown; that they are from another country; that they are disabled, autistic, bipolar or have a mental health problem; that they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan, Druid, from another faith, humanist or atheist; that they are vegan, vegetarian, meat eating, pescatarian or flexitarian; that they are left wing, right wing, green, liberal, anarchist or nationalist; that they are feminist, MRA or [insert other label here]... *
Do not abuse them.
Don't suggest that their particular orientation, neurology or life choice is wrong, questionable, funny, absurd, or evil.
Don't out them, publicly shame them, screen shot their facebook posts or pillory them.
Don't make fun of them on Twitter.
In fact, you don't need to say anything at all.
If you are interested (genuinely interested) or curious, or you don't understand something, ask a person who knows about that thing. This will normally be a person who is living that particular life. Ask nicely. They will be glad to answer your question and you will benefit from having learned something new.
2. If in doubt, refer to no. 1
*If I have left your particular label off the list and you are offended, I apologise. let me know if you want me to add it 😉