Real Life Crime

Anger and Kindness

In light of the way this year has started, with violence against our children, our firefighters, and our cops all making horrendous news across the country, I thought about what I should say in my blog about it. My reactions span the whole spectrum of human emotion, but my sadness and anger presently burn the hottest. While driving to work this week, I realized my answer: kindness.

I shit you not, no sooner had I begun mulling over the contents of this blog, Luke Bryan came on my radio. I’m NOT a pop country fan; a few songs here and there, sure, by I’ll take Waylon and Willie over most of those pretty boys and rebel imposters any day. However, this particular song is called “Most People Are Good,” and was written by David Frasier, Ed Hill, Josh Kear, and published by Downtown Music Publishing. Mister Manicure, err, Luke Bryan, sang to me exactly what I intended to convey to all of you:

“I believe kids oughta stay kids as long as they can
Turn off the screen, go climb a tree, get dirt on their hands
I believe we gotta forgive and make amends
‘Cause nobody gets a second chance to make new old friends
I believe in working hard for what you’ve got
Even if it don’t add up to a hell of a lot

I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks
I believe most people are good

I believed that streets of gold are worth the work
But I still wanna go even if they were paved in dirt
I believe that youth is spent well on the young
‘Cause wisdom in your teens would be a lot less fun
I believe if you just go by the nightly news
Your faith in all mankind would be the first thing you lose

I believe that days go slow and years go fast
And every breath’s a gift, the first one to the last”

I, Gavin Reese, believe most of our earthly problems can be solved by simply being kind. Assume positive intent. Give the benefit of the doubt. Listen and debate your opponents, but don’t demonize every one of them. Treat and respect your neighbors and your fellow humans like you hope they’re willing to treat you. Buy something from every lemonade stand, help stranded motorists, and see your neighbors as that, first, even if that’s the only thing you have in common.

Even simpler: Don’t be a jerk. It makes all our lives and communities better.

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