La Voz de Galicia – October 2, 2020 →

Cristina PatoToday I was thinking about the notion that being kind already seems like a radical action. I was thinking about the good people I’ve been meeting over these months, and about the feeling one has when someone is kind and caring, just because. And I was also thinking about how normalized verbal (and physical) violence is in our society and about how quickly we get used to it, even though it provides no solutions to our problems, nor does it make us feel better.

Today, one of those international days that is supposed to help us remember important things is celebrated: The International Day of Non-Violence commemorating the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth. And it is precisely in times like these, when it seems that getting angry, arguing, and being against everything is the order of the day, we should remember more than ever the words attributed to Gandhi: «We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change…»

The United Nations will observe this day with the wish to «ensure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence,» but who is responsible to do so? Who are our political leaders or cultural references that predicate empathy, kindness and generosity? Who chooses them?

We are the problem and also the solution. The daily injustices, the uncertainties, fear of the virus, fear of losing what little we have lead us, little by little, to indolence and irascibility. But we can also be kind. We can at least generate change in ourselves to make our own particular micro-world something better…We have to start somewhere.

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