If any more advertisers tell me to “be kind” I’m going to throw a brick through the television.
This tweet was posted a couple of weeks ago and stuck with me.
Kindness is one the the values I value. The world would be a much better place if we had a lot more of it.
But the exhortation to be kind from advertisers and politicians induces thoughts in me that are anything but kind.
I think it’s partly because the lockdown has uncovered my inner contrarian.
Farming is an essential business and I spend a lot of time at home alone in normal circumstances so my day to day life hasn’t altered much. I realise this puts me in much better circumstances than a lot of other people.
But because I can’t go where I want to, when I want to and with whom I want to, I really, really want to.
Strong as the temptation is, I’m resisting it and doing as I’m told – staying home and as the ads and politicians keep telling me, staying safe.
But I don’t like it and I like being preached at even less, especially by advertisers and politicians.
I am old enough to remember when kindness started at home and the moral and ethical foundation established there was reinforced at school and backed up at Sunday school and church, in the days when most children went there.
I like to think that kindness still starts in most homes, that it’s reinforced at school and while far fewer people are regular church goers these days, they still play a role in moral guidance not by preaching at us, but by teaching and providing good examples through their actions.
Why then do advertisers and politicians feel the need to preach at us?
If they were leading by example I might be inspired to follow.
But when they preach at me, that inner contrarian comes out and rather than feeling positive about the message I start thinking some very unkind thoughts about the messengers.