There are so many ways people are kind to each other: in little things and big things, in times of danger and in times of peace. If children were praised more when they did caring things, if those caring gestures got the same attention as a good grade, a sports success, or any other kind of win, do you think that perhaps there would be more kindness in the world? If corrections and punishments were balanced with more kindness, would it help?
People are kind and cruel both, but if the cruelty is rewarded more than kindness, of course it happens more. Too many people crave attention so much that they will do anything, even act badly, just to get it. But most people have to be trained to kill, to see others as an enemy, or to shun others, or they have to feel that there is no other way to get the rewards and attention they need. So stop and think, before you do something bad to another person: “Why am I doing this? Is it really because I hate them or because I am hurting inside from something else, like not being loved enough myself?” And then go and find another way to fix your own pain first.
Once you have accepted your real worth from God, being destitute is shameful and stupid! Being destitute for God makes so little sense: It’s like saying “You are so poor, God, that I can’t take what I want and need from you, or else I will beggar you! You are so picayune and deprived, I have to deprive myself seven times over just to help you.” This is what a vow of poverty is really saying: that God is so poor we have to be poorer than he is to show that we love Him. Or, at the very least, to think that God wants our poverty is like saying to Him: “You hate being generous, God, or maybe it’s just too painful for you to give anything extra to your creatures or creation. And so, for love of you, we won’t ask you for anything extra. We won’t ask for abundance: how could we ask you to do something that you hate to do, or that you can’t? We love you too much. So because we love you and don’t want to hurt you we won’t ask for anything but the bare minimum!” When that voice inside says, “Don’t have money, or wealth, or opulence or affluence!” it’s a voice of fear, a voice of someone or something that cannot believe in the stupendous wealth, the treasure and fortune of the great and good God that creates galaxies full of stars just to give a small chance to life! This is the same, joyfully profligate God that scatters hundreds of billions of hopeful seeds into the sky every year. To think that a god like this needs our poverty is ludicrous.
Life on this is so strong and durable that it has survived meteor strikes, massive volcanic eruptions, ice ages and so many other things, you would think it would be tired of trying. So many times, life has flourished, only to have something huge and horrible happen on the large scale, or even only on the small scale, like winter, or pollution, or being forced near to extinction.
But every spring, the little animals, the deer, sheep, goats, lion cubs, tiger cubs, zebra foals, and so many more, dance and play. They do not know what the next moment will bring. They do not know if today is the day that… but they still dance. They still play. They still hope. And that is why life goes on: because of joy and hope. Whenever you see someone that needs hope or joy, including yourself, do your best to do something or give something that will create hope, or joy. It will make all of life stronger if you do.