Can we be kind all the time? Really?

I’m all for kindness. It’s a big deal. It’s a gesture of our shared humanity, a nod to how hard things can be. But that’s just it. Life as a human can be hard. So why expect that people be on their best behavior ALL THE TIME? Isn’t the expectation of universal, 24/7 kindness a form of oppressive perfectionism that gets in the way of our humanity?

Sometimes things suck and we can’t spare a smile. I think the world can deal with this. It’s not an affront. I’d rather know reality than a weird sunshine-y rainbow version of your day.

This isn’t meant to be a rant so much as a demonstration of concern. I work with young adults (new adults?) – college students – and there is a culture of positivism that threatens to crowd out real feelings. Being in your early twenties can be a tough time.

Even more importantly, there isn’t a universal experience. Not everyone has had kindness shown to them. Not everyone has had a charmed upbringing. Not everyone feels like the world is theirs for the taking. The culture of positivism seems dangerously like a culture of privilege. Or, a means of denying our full humanity.

Continue reading

If You Have to Ask: An excerpt

It’s here! Thanks to some formatting love from a friend and designer, I’m excited to share an excerpt from If You Have to Ask. Take a read and decide if you think this love can last.

Meet Jill and Jacob

Here’s an excerpt of the excerpt:

Although Jacob and I weren’t a couple, we acted like one much of the time. I wanted to be official all of the time, and he wanted to be official none of the time, so it was a nice compromise. I was waiting for him to realize we were perfect, whatever perfect meant, since both of us were teachers with corresponding vacations and a commitment to abandoned students rather than entitled ones. Plus, we both drank tea instead of coffee and we both loved dogs. 

And, we loved each other very much.

Read more to get a sense of their physical connection, if you know what I mean. Read the excerpt: If You Have to Ask Continue reading