A friend told the story of the day when he was traveling through a major airport. Just ahead of him in the security check line was a young man who "looked" like an Arab -- whatever that means! But my friend said he had this feeling: "Thanks be to God they are checking that fellow carefully. You never know these days."
After my friend had gone through security almost redressing completely putting on his shoes, his belt and his jacket. He continued on toward his departure gate. He heard someone saying, "Sir, sir." Several men turned around to the voice. There was the young Arab man but pointing his finger at me. "Sir, you left your computer on the security check table where you were putting on your shoes.
My friend related how he then felt. What a complicated world we live in. We suspect anyone that matches a problem in our world. Yet, most people grow up wanting to do good. Even most religions in one way or another promote the "golden rule." Yet, today's world, has so taught us how to label other people especially when we are in challenging situations like airport security or when we are walking down the crowded streets of an unfamiliar congested "downtown." We so easily allow labeling to disable our own estimation of other people.
My friend mentioned a thought that came to his mind. Aldus Huxley once was asked what was the most transforming technique he knew toward accomplishing a change in one's life. He thought for a moment and then replied that it is just a little kindness. It is that simple because kindness strengthens the heart. And, if there is a good heart in you, a good life will follow.
In today's Responsorial Psalm we hear the psalmist's words ... thankfulness, thankfulness. How simple and easy it is to be thankful and to appreciate other people ... especially those we do not know. In a world where trust is so thin, we quickly tag people with prejudicial thoughts that diminish kindness, that weaken that virtue which gives our lives a purpose. Think about the most unhappy person you know: when was the last time that person practiced kindness? Without kindness life becomes miserable. The lack of kindness is the foundation of misery. Put that thought on a post-it at your desk or on your mirror ... just somewhere to remind you each day that you weaken your own power when failing to be kind ... most especially in thought!