Kicking things off, let me explain that I may not post the typical “inspirational” message each week that some of my regular class participants have become accustomed to. The nature of my workload this fall is such that I’m not able to devote the time it takes to put together those messages each week. This is especially true when I can’t be sure how many people are actually participating in this class. In fact, on that note, it would help me to know who is engaged and participating. Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org so I’ll know, okay?
I mentioned last week that 15 years ago I facilitated an in-person class using this book as focusing agent. The class actually met at a retirement home in Seattle and involved three teenage boys and ten residents of the retirement home, all women. We would sit in the main living room of the facility, form a circle of chairs and take turns reading the book out loud. The intergenerational perspectives were amazing! For instance, one woman told us about her experience hitch-hiking across several states during the Great Depression in order to find work!
That class talked regularly about the nature of kindness; in fact, some of the residents put forth the opinion that a lot of what McIntyre received on his trek was not “kindness” at all, but simply common human decency. They explained to the boys that they feel that daily “decency” was much more prevalent in their younger years.
About decency, I choose to believe that there isn’t less decency but with reality TV, so many news channels, etc, we do seem to be awfully drawn to promoting negative things over positive things. For me, I think it’s important to look for, and keeping looking until you find, the kind and decent things people are doing every day.