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The Culture of Kindness

What is the "Culture of Kindness"? The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language defines culture as "The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought." This column is dedicated to the belief that the ethical underpinning of a peaceful "culture of kindness" can and should be the concept that "kindness and compassionate love for others" has the highest value.

Note that this column was previously called "The Culture of Heart." I have changed the name in order to create a more specific focus.

The Tyranny of Fashion
On the 14th of October, in the Year of Our Lord 2006, my family and I attended the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Annapolis. We feasted, we drank lemonade, we attended a merry joust where the brave warriors deigned not to fall off their horses because of insurance clauses. We had a grand old time for nigh on three and a half hours browsing rows of hideously expensive shops, and watching revelers eat gigantic turkey legs. And I was jealous. more
To Carry Our Heart through the World Like a Life-Giving Sun
Seven hundred or so years ago, the Sufi poet Hafez wrote the poem “Like a Life-Giving Sun.” I stumbled across it in a volume of poems by the great Islamic poet, edited, translated, and interpreted by Daniel Ladinsky. The book, called The Gift, contains some of the most beautiful poems about God that I’ve ever read. Truly, Hafez was in love with God. more
Book Excerpt: from "Building a Marriage of True Love" :: Section 1 - The Eternal Castle of True Love
~ "Building a Marriage of True Love" is a work in progress. I am publishing it here in serial form, as it is completed. Note that this section "The Eternal Castle of True Love" is NOT the same as the column of the same name. ~
When I was a small child in Maine, I loved reading folk tales about a Prince and Princess falling in love, getting married and living happily ever after. I imagined them standing on the parapet of a castle amidst the clouds, gazing out over a valley lush with foliage and singing birds. I wanted to be the Prince, with my true love at my side. more
Teaching Our Children a World Level Vision
This is the text of an extemporaneous speech delivered at the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace Conference on Ambassadors of Peace at the Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC on October 13, 2001, one month after the 9/11 attack. The speech has been slightly edited for print distribution.
We have to teach them that the most important thing that they can do - the best thing that they can do -- when they grow up, is to bring joy to others by loving them and by caring for them. more
I Came, I Saw, I Took It
~ conflicting desires and our quest to be happy ~
What after all, is a criminal? Isn't a criminal simply a child who still adheres to the false grandeur of the Caesarian credo, "I came, I saw, I conquered"? Or, in the little boy version, "I came, I saw, I took it." Trying to conquer others by violent force is an easy choice for a man with a bratty heart who just plain "wants it now". more
Joyful Love
~ confessions of a nursery school student in God's school of love ~
One of my longest-running and most heartfelt prayers over the years has been to understand how to adequately express love to others. I was a loner in my youth, and had no idea how to extend my heart toward others. Being easily hurt, I avoided the risk of pain that came with human interaction. more
The Ancient Rage of Women
My wife is of Irish descent, and thus, in her heart, is completely Irish. I, on the other hand, from the point of view of many of the Irish, have the dubious distinction of being half English. Regrettably, England’s transgressions against the Irish haven’t been entirely erased from Ireland’s national memory. more
A Call to Eliminate Horror Films
Another way of looking at this issue is to ask, "Do we really want horror films to exist in a world of peace and unselfish love?" An even more pertinent question is, "Can we establish a culture of peace if horror films are polluting the minds and hearts of our young people?" more
The Heart Within a Gift
Gift giving is an opportunity to give more than a gift to someone. If we feel a strong sense of love or affection for the recipient, then the gift can take on a special meaning. Our heart is conveyed with the gift -- and our hope, in those instances, is that the recipient will recognize our heart contained within the gift. more
The Value of the Family School of Love
Our dilemma is that broken and damaged children grow up, get married, and have children without personally experiencing what has often been called "the family school of love." more
“The Epiphany of Zebediah Clump”
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