This is going to be a short one—in the time it takes to eat two Christmas cookies, you should be about done. Go ahead and get them; I’ll wait.
I did almost all of my Christmas shopping a few hours ago (I’m writing this on November 25th). I’m not saying that to be smug; I just don’t have nearly as much shopping to do as I did when my family was younger. A few more hours ought to do the trick, and I hope that by the time you read this on December 12th or 13th, I’ll be long done.
On the way home, I was listening to NPR, and I heard one of the radio personalities use the word “humankind.” Of course, I realize that word is a noun meaning the same thing as “humanity” or “people,” but it occurred to me that it would be a lovely adjective, created because the defining characteristic of humanity was kindness. How kind was that politician? She was humankind. How kind was that teacher? He was humankind. You get the idea. Humankind could be an adjective meaning “exceptionally kind,” if humans really were exceptionally kind.
I have often been guilty of being less-than-humankind. Social media nurtures snarkiness—since we are not physically in the room with those who read our statuses or tweets, we are emboldened to be far more assertive (and less kind) than we would be if we were sitting face to face. In the past few days, though, I’ve noticed that a few of the friends in my computer have been expressing a desire to be kinder in their online lives.
Me, too. I’m not much of a person for New Year’s resolutions, but this is one that I think I can do. I want to be humankind.