Just say “no” to hate

Chef Arnold Abbott made the news for refusing to stop feeding the homeless despite multiple arrests because in Fort Lauderdale, Florida feeding the homeless is illegal.

In Florida it is the homeless that are the problem rather than the fact of people having no place to live and starving in the street. Well, Florida and like 20 other states that criminalize homelessness.

Some days I can barely muster enthusiasm to continue living in a world so devoid of compassion. They say autistic people have no empathy but when I read how the law is perverted to inflict emotional, economic and physical harm on people – in the name of religion, no less! – I feel their hopelessness so deep within my heart and so profoundly that I come close to giving up on ever making a dent in the encroaching culture of hate.

But I have raised to kids who are smart, compassionate and kind, and I stick around because the difference I make through them ripples forward through time. And for my family and the people I meet through my work because I’m able to make the world a bit better for them and through them. And to stave off the worst of the hopelessness, I commit random acts of kindness by donating my time, money, or expertise, or just doing small kindnesses like letting someone merge into traffic while everyone else is rushing to close gaps between them and the next car.

In the greater scheme of things, my contribution of kindness and compassion to the world is a lone drop in a sea of hate and I have no illusions that it turns the tide. But the tide turns only through collective action of millions of us lone drops acting individually and impacting collectively. We can refuse to let our elected representatives inflict harm on others in our name without protest and we can directly intervene in ways large and small, relentlessly, tirelessly, with hope, compassion and in the faith that enough others are doing the same to collectively make a difference even if we don’t see the effects immediately.

If you have not already, will you join me as a kindness ambassador?


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