Letter from Publisher
I recently listened to a talk by Matt Kahn titled “The End of Victimization,” in which he suggests that when another person treats us unkindly or unfairly, we should respond with a blessing or compliment. The idea behind this is that when people act out in anger, frustration or hostility, they are expressing parts of themselves that have been deeply wounded in the past. By responding to such outbursts with love, compassion and kindness, rather than matching their negative energy or shutting them out, we help end the cycle of abuse and contribute to healing their wounds.
It’s easy to mindlessly toss around the familiar phrase “random acts of kindness,” but what would our world be like if we actually acted upon it or even lived by it?
Acts of kindness that seem small can have a significant effect and lead to greater things. In Linda Sechrist’s feature article, “Change Makers: Inspired to Act,” we learn about how the simple act of a woman sharing her lunch with a homeless veteran grew into a mission to rescue wasted food and provide it to the hungry. Random acts of kindness that pay it forward in small ways, such as buying a cup of coffee for a stranger or picking up litter in the park, make this often difficult world just a little easier to navigate. Thoughtful gestures supported by a genuine desire for positive change may not make the news or become the buzz of social media, but they are often more relevant than we imagine.
After the civil unrest that took place in Milwaukee in August, it was uplifting to see the first steps of healing begin with people handing out cupcakes and offering hugs in front of a gas station that had been burned down, followed by dedicated citizens cleaning up the neighborhood in the days thereafter. Despite our problems and differences, we human beings are naturally tenacious, seeking solutions that will leave this world better than we found it. Dedicated individuals in communities all over Milwaukee, without making the news or receiving glory, work tirelessly every day to feed the hungry, provide job skills, steer youth from venturing down tumultuous paths and keep our vast freshwater resources clean. One act of kindness really can change the world.
Let’s celebrate them by joining in changing the world, one random act of kindness at a time.
Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher