Kindness Saves My Day

by Rev. Aaron Payson

Like many of you, I have suffered moments of great despair during the pandemic. Moments when I question the humanity of many in our nation as numbers of COVID-19 cases rise and the nattering of many about vaccine and mask mandates fogs my brain with questions like “What about your belief in the common good? I thought the greatest commandment was about love of God AND neighbor? I have always believed in the importance of individual freedom and I believe such freedom is regulated by a social contract that says my freedoms don’t trump your right to exist.

I admit that there have been moments in the pandemic where I have struggled to remember my fidelity to compassion as the primary means to create beloved community. When I am overcome in such moments I go searching for ways to remind myself that there are those in the world who remember this, especially during moments when it would be easy to forget or ignore such kindness.

Inspiration comes to me in the form of acts of kindness that abound in the world and I am renewed and grateful again for the opportunities that are presented to me to embody such an ethic. Many times I have turned to compilations on social media to remind me of this important obligation. As an example, below you will find my most recent experience of inspiration, even as I grieve that the Patriots did not make it through the playoffs this year. For all the talk about the brutality of professional sports and the scandals that seem to occupy most of the media’s attention, there are moments which continue to inspire a different spirit. I hope that these examples lift you the way they have me.

Blessings, Aaron