A few weeks ago there was a storm online because Ellen DeGeneres was seen sitting next to George W. Bush at a football game. The two seemed rather friendly and the internet didn’t like it. Many liberals saw it as a betrayal, and social media erupted in protest.
A few days later, Ellen spoke in her own defence:
I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them. When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean, ‘Be kind to everyone, it doesn’t matter.’
I’m fascinated by how many people were offended by Ellen’s commitment to kindness. There were even articles suggesting that such all-inclusive kindness is outdated in today’s world.
KINDNESS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
We have the world we have because we act and believe the way we do. If we truly believe that kindness is outdated, then we should not be surprised that our world is not very kind. But, if we long for a different world, then we need to act differently. Which means that kindness is not outdated at all. It’s actually the most relevant thing we can do.
This is why we need a new kind of community. There are more than enough religious, cultural, racial, and nationalistic communities based on dividing the world. There are more than enough ways for us to be excluded. What we need are places where our differences are celebrated no matter who we are.
CREATING A KIND COMMUNITY
EvoFaith is built on the dream of an inclusive community that celebrates our differences. We learn and grow when we explore each other’s unique experiences of, and perspectives on, the world. To build such a community, kindness is not optional but essential. This doesn’t mean we have to agree, but that we commit to accepting and respecting each other even when we disagree.
Authentic spirituality is meant to lead us more deeply into the practice of kindness and welcoming of the “other” – the stranger, the outcast, the marginalised, and even the enemy. For that reason, EvoFaith holds spiritual practice as a central feature of its community. While it is rooted in Christian mythology and practice, our hope is that people of many faiths, or none, will find a home here.
For such welcoming, accepting, diverse community to exist it needs to be a safe space for those who participate. That’s why we hold to these principles:
- Robust discussion and debate is encouraged. Shaming, trolling, or attacking is not.
- Sharing opinions, resources, and discoveries is wonderful. Sharing of fake news and slander is not.
- Differences of opinions, perspectives, and ways of being are celebrated. Dismissing, denouncing, or condemning another person is not.
If you want to be part of a community that seeks to grow together in kindness, then maybe EvoFaith is the place for you. If you want to learn how you can help make the world a kinder place, then perhaps the EvoFaith community is exactly what you need.
Perhaps you’d like to start by sharing some kindness in some small ways right now?
- Share a comment: Where have you been included by those who are different from you? How can you be more welcoming to others?
- Maybe do some work to learn something about someone who is different from you and try to put yourself in their shoes.
- And don’t forget to join in the growing EvoFaith community by signing up for our newsletter or following us on social media.
Over to you!
Discussion, robust debate, and respectful disagreement are encouraged. However, shaming, attacking, and trolling are not. Please keep the comments on topic, and kind. Any comments that violate this ethos will be removed.