October 20, 2009, here on slacktivist: Kindness and necessity
The eighth-grader is now a senior. I am old.
Kindness seems less robust than, say, a word like justice. But while it may seem to mean less, it can also mean more. It’s possible to treat someone justly without also treating them kindly, but if one is to be kind, one must also be just. There’s no such thing, after all, as a kindly injustice. Nor is it possible to accept or allow injustice while still being, in any meaningful way, kind. (Stonewall Jackson, the eighth-grader’s history book says, was “kind” to his slaves. No. No he wasn’t. If he had been kind to them, then they would not have remained his slaves.)