What a ride this year has been… and it’s only Jan. 5. Show of hands: how many of us have already bailed on at least one of our New Year’s resolutions?

Have you seen the meme that says, “2022 can also be pronounced 2020, too?” In spite of that, I have to admit, I began 2022 with a bit more optimism than 2020 or 2021.

Last year just simply hurt my heart. Hateful divisiveness was the order of the day, and it didn’t matter the subject – Democrat or Republican, black or white, vaccinated or unvaccinated, mask or no mask, sprinkles or no sprinkles – if “you” weren’t on “my” side of the issue, then we must hate each other and abandon all semblence of human kindness toward one another.

I hope we can all move beyond that attitude this year and collectively decide that I don’t hate you and you don’t hate me just because we are on opposite sides of a certain issue. It is okay to disagree with people and still remain friends, or at least be civil to one another.

There are myriad people who have better things to say on the subject than I can articulate. Here are a few I like.

“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.” –Wes Angelozzi

“To err on the side of kindness is seldom an error.” –Liz Armbruster

“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.” –Maya Angelou

“Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.”

-Charles Glassman

“You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.”

-Publilius Syrus

“Simple kindness may be the most vital key to the riddle of how human beings can live with each other in peace, and care properly for this planet we all share.” –Bo Lozoff

See how much simple kindness can do. I challenge you to replace that blown resolution with one of kindness, no matter the circumstances. Find a quote or Bible verse or saying that just sucker punches you in the soul and make it part of your life. Post it on the mirror and read it when you brush your teeth. Make it the screensaver on your phone or computer. Memorize it. If you focus on kindness, you might start loving yourself and other people and all that other stuff will just work itself out.