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.
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
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
~ 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
~ 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
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, Englands transgressions against the Irish havent been entirely erased from Irelands national memory. more
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
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
We can communicate our thoughts and feelings through actions or facial expressions -- but ultimately, as rational people who think about many abstract concepts such as eternal love and invisible hopes and dreams, we need to express our hearts through words. We need to talk. more
Centering our culture on the value or ethic of "unselfish heart" will have powerful consequences. Legal and legislative decisions, for example, that are now often made without heart, would never ignore the human suffering that they could potentially cause. Business affairs can and should be conducted with heart, rather than the current standard of "abandon all heart, ye who enter here." more
“The Epiphany of Zebediah Clump”
Watch our first film right here.
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