Kindness as a Stance

In an increasingly polarized and politicized world, what is the role of kindness — and how might it be used to help us revive abundant communities?

Recently featured on CBS, “The Antidote” is a new documentary that weaves together stories of ordinary people drawing upon compassion and kindness to improve the lives of fellow community members.

Featured community organizer De’Amon Harges works as The Roving Listener with Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, IN. Harges considers kindness “a stance… something that we decide to do and we stand by.” His work with his neighbors and a collage of local collaborators flows from one cornerstone principle of kindness: “Love thy neighbor.” The main thrust De’Amon’s role, he says, is to “kidnap people to fall in love with each other.” One of the most recent project that has sprung from the group’s years of neighborhood “abundance listening” is a bike shop that employs neighborhood kids as entrepreneurs and mechanics while building community among neighbors.

His and his partners’ work is rooted in a curiosity about the giftedness of neighbors in their under-appreciated neighborhood, rather than what they lack. “We normally ask how poor people are and how can we help them,” Harges explains, “instead of asking, ‘What gifts do you have and how can we celebrate those?'”

Also featured from the documentary are a high school religion class in Modesto, California helping students see the “golden thread” running throughout all religions and the work of healthcare professionals to serve people experiencing homelessness with dignity and kindness.

How might embracing a “stance” of kindness serve as a starting point for each of us to cultivate abundant community in our own place? These stories serve up fresh inspiration and ideas.

Going Further

About the Lead Author

The Latest

Re-Learning to Solve Our Problems Together

Last Tuesday, the world witnessed an attack on the US Capitol--a building that symbolizes and holds a home for...

Kindness as a Stance

http://youtu.be/ZKwQ-w87E2g In an increasingly polarized and politicized world, what is the role of kindness -- and how might it be used to help us revive...

Learning Tree: Building Capacity Their Way

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZvj_jfBpDE&t=155 In the heart of Indianapolis' Clifton-Radar neighborhood, known most often for statistics of violent crime, poverty or need, neighbors are gathering to tell, hear...

The Neighborhood as a Sacred Place

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BprBr1XVxE In his keynote talk for the Parish Collective’s Inhabit 2020 At Home Conference, John draws on insights from Walter Brueggemann and Dave Chapelle to...

When Renters Can Earn Equity

Writing in Backyard, a newsletter exploring scalable solutions to make housing fairer, more affordable and more environmentally sustainable, Emily Nonko puts Cincinnati's Margie Spinney...

Featured

Re-Learning to Solve Our Problems Together

Last Tuesday, the world witnessed an attack on the US Capitol--a building that symbolizes and holds a home for...

Kindness as a Stance

http://youtu.be/ZKwQ-w87E2g In an increasingly polarized and politicized world, what is the role of kindness -- and how might it be...

Learning Tree: Building Capacity Their Way

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZvj_jfBpDE&t=155 In the heart of Indianapolis' Clifton-Radar neighborhood, known most often for statistics of violent crime, poverty or need, neighbors...

The Six Conversations

One. The Proposition https://youtu.be/gIj4o0ygwKk Two. The Possibility https://youtu.be/8OrOKhte7TI Three. The Promise https://youtu.be/SNn2uqyuZPU Four. The Point https://youtu.be/9rpDrJGPuW8 Copyright © 2020 Peter Block. All rights reserved. Re-posted by permission. Produced for designedlearning.com and peterblock.com by...

More Articles Like This