Memorial Day lesson in Kindness - How to respect those who gave their lives, even if you don’t agree

Large memorial day
sign in to favorite this post

I am a peacenik. I grew up in the '60s. I protested the war in Vietnam and marched against the war in Iraq. I supported conscientious objectors and cried when my high school friends were killed. Call me a hippie, a peacenik, a rabble-rouser, but the one feeling I have always had was respect for those who actually put their lives in danger to be in service to our country. (In actuality, I feel the same way about police and firefighters.)

According to The History Channel, Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. However, like Mother's Day, let's not get complacent to thinking about the sacrifice they made on just one day. And, let's remember that when a life is lost, it affects the living.

A big component of Kindness is empathy. The dictionary defines it as, "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another". We use it when our child scrapes their knee, or we see someone trip and fall, or win a prize. Inside we get happy, sad, or concerned. For those who have gone before us, there is no way to show Kindness directly to them, but through our empathy, we can show Kindness to those whose lives were intertwined with theirs and to those who serve us now.

Here are a few ways you can show your respect, through Kindness, to those who are in service today. In that way, you are showing your respect to those we remember on Memorial Day.

1. When you see a person in uniform say, "Thank you for your service."

2. Write a letter. There are many organizations that help cards and letters get to the military. Operation Gratitude is just one. 

3. Support an organization that provides support to military personnel past and present. This list gives a few great options.

4. Take your family to a Memorial Day parade.

5. Take your family to an Armed Services Memorial.

In some way, we are all affected by those who serve this country, regardless of our varied political views. A little bit of Kindness goes a long way to show we care. Join me on this Memorial Day and every day.

Other posts you might like to read:

Thumb benefits of kindness

The Benefits of Creating a Culture of Kindness in the Workplace

Modern workplaces can be hot-houses of negativity, competitiveness, and stress. These kinds of environments can make employees feel as if they’re entering an assault zone on the daily.

Read More
Thumb grant money new

Receive Grant Money for Your Act of Kindness Project.

Submit an idea for a charitable act to win the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $250.

Read More
Thumb cancer

Caring for Cancer Patients

In a world where insults and criticism seem only a tweet away, compassion is more important than ever, and there is research to prove it works.

Read More
Thumb sel works

SEL Works!

While I tend to be a ‘behind the scenes’ kind of guy, I felt the need to say a few words about our revised social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, Kindness in the Classroom®.

Read More
See All Kind Blog Posts