Are you being kind or just being your kind?

Trigger Question #140 — reading time: about 2.2 minutes

. . .

Recently, I read an article from start to finish. Below the ending, the author offered me a free ebook if I signed up to receive his newsletter. Nothing unusual about that. But this guy went further. Much further. Too far, I feel.

He asked me not to sign-up if I am anti-gay.

I had two problems with that request. First, if I choose not to receive his newsletter, will he think I am anti-gay? Then I realized, until I sign up, he doesn’t know who I am! So no need for me to worry about his opinion of me.

But here’s my big problem with his request.
If you plan to be selective as to who you serve, then why be so picky? Why not exclude racists, bigots, bullies, women, men, tall people, short people, stupid people, wise people, old people, babies?

Mulling it over, I had an insight. If you decide to serve only one kind of people, then you are simply being as prejudiced as the people you assume to be prejudiced. And you also choose not to be kind.

Did you know there are two types of kind?
There is “kind” as in how you behave, how you treat people (and animals). And then there is “kind” as in your tribe, your in-group, people who share your beliefs, who have similar characteristics. Your type. Your people.

When you keep to your kind, you are excluding many people. You are being unkind to those who are not your kind.

Your definition of kind determines how kind you are.
If your definition of kind is narrow, you will exclude many people. The broader your definition, the more people will be part of your kind.

And the easiest way to be kind to more people who are not (yet) your kind? Draw a bigger circle:

“He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him in!”
― “Outwitted” by Edwin Markham (American poet; 1852–1940)

Why should you be kind to more people?
Because when you are only kind to people of your kind, then people who are not your kind are unlikely to be kind to you. You are hurting yourself.

And at work? You might agree with the marketing philosophy that states you must clearly define your target market. Else you will waste time and resources on the wrong people.

But what if wrong people are only wrong because you decided, unkindly, that they are not your kind?

Then be kind. Draw a bigger circle.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.