Today’s Kindness Activist is someone that I never met. I wish I had, but I cannot.
Last evening I became aware that a member of the Washington DC Theatre Community and yoga teacher had been reported as missing. Her friends, colleagues, and family quickly gathered online and rallied. People prayed. People drove around and looked. People lit incense. Psychics suggested places that they felt she may be that should be searched. People teamed up and walked in areas near her home. And people cried.
During the night, police announced that they had found her car, and later announced that she was found deceased inside the vehicle. A suspect, who police say she probably did not know, has now been arrested and charged with her murder.
Throughout the whole, terrible ordeal, friends wrote comments about her in a group that had been established. And one thing that came up over and over was her KINDNESS; that she was a KIND person.
I think that is a legacy of her that will live on. From the many comments, it is obvious that she was a myriad of things: talented, funny, joyful, wise, caring… And kind. Kind.
In times like this, my instinct is to be angry. Angry that someone was taken away so violently. Angry that things like this are so unfair. Angry that, even with the thousands of people hunting, praying, and wishing, the result was not what anyone wanted. And, to be honest, events like this make me question my own kindness. She was taken on Christmas Day. How can that happen?? How can a holiday meant to be full of love and sharing turn into something so awful? Certainly there is no sense of KINDNESS in that world.
And I question my own kind actions. Am I gullible? I talk to strangers all the time, I hand things out to them, I have given them rides. I know that I like to think of it as having an open heart, but is that trait of mine something that makes me a target in this world? Should I stop being KIND, and start being SMART instead??
And while I may wallow in anger and fear for a while, I know that I cannot stop believing in kindness. Without it, I am not sure what I would have left to enjoy in the world.
So today, I am sad. And angry. And yes, decidedly unkind.
But tomorrow, I hope that I will be able to pick up the torch of kindness again. And I hope that when I die (which, spoiler alert, we all will…) one thing that is repeated in remembrances of me is that I was kind. If that happens, I think I will have done my job.