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October 16, 2018 The Centrality of Kindness

This morning I stay with Jerome, my friend Jaqui’s partner, and watched the talking heads on the Young Turks Network. They do podcasts. Cenk and Anna are very wise individuals; they’ve modelled themselves after more conventional commentators. However, their reportage is more to the left than mainstream commentators. They also dress the part of their contemporaries – I suspect that they too have handlers. They’ve both been on the air now for over ten years. At this point in time, they are railing about the inane blithering of Donald Trump.

The most interesting thing I saw was a clip of a 60 Minutes interview. The president, who obviously had little if any respect for the older woman interviewer, at one point, said “I’m the president and

289 Jerome and Jaqui’s
289 Jerome and Jaqui’s greyhound, Metti

you are not.” I was left wondering, where does he get off, talking like that? Well, what he’s learned is that such outbursts get him more media attention, which is what he wants. I think that Cenk and Anna would agree. I wish I was a staff writer for their show.

There is one danger in watching shows like this, however (and Jerome is a regular viewer), and this is that one’s self-perceptions can become inextricably linked with those of the show hosts, the consequence being (I think) severe depression.

The current political situation seems irresolvable right now – and many of us are feeling helpless. I mean, what can we do? It’s like dealing with a billion brush fires, all of which need to extinguished ASAP. Say, you take on women’s rights and give this your all; it’s with the knowledge that environmental issues will be given the short shrift. I think that as hard as it might be, we all need to take a break from this from time to time, so that we don’t go over the deep end. Jerome is now peering over the edge, into the murky depths. I am going to tell Jacqui to talk to him about this.

Jerome lent me a book by Bob Woodward that he is reading. It’s entitled Fear, and it is about what’s been going on inside the white house. Apparently, Trump equates power and fear; this is why this book has this title.

I first (of course) looked at the pictures. Then I looked at the acknowledgements. Woodward, I noticed, thanked his wife who he said follows Henry James in that she practices the centrality of kindness. I immediately sought out James’s quote. It is “Three things are important. First be kind. Secondly be kind. And thirdly, be kind.

“Be Kind to one another,” this is exactly what the bishop who gave the sermon on St. Francis Day at St. John of the Divine Cathedral said. This is such a simple concept but so difficult to follow through on. My goodness. I am going to keep this in mind when being judgmental about others, which is my number one fault. I don’t think that politicians are going to follow suit, but you just never know. Being kind might at the very least narrow the rift that has formed between the right and the left in this country.

Next: 290. 10/17/18: Homeward Bound, Bounding Homeward

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