This inaugural post on this peculiar platform is going to be shorter than the fare I'd normally like to publish. But there are a few housekeeping items I'd like to address right out of the gate. In no particular order:
First, thank you for reading this. I know how busy you are, and I can't imagine all the demands on your attention. So I am eternally grateful that you would give even a small piece of it to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Second, what is this? Well, let's start with what it's not: It's not a self-help newsletter aiming to make you a better person. You know yourself infinitely better than I know you, so I am in no position to tell you how to live. This column is called “The Practice of Kindness" because it is, principally, a mechanism by which I can remind myself how to be more kind in my daily life. If my reminders are useful to you as well, I am happy to have helped in some small way. More specifically, I envision this being a home for meditations on various aspects of kindness at every scale, from the universal (resource justice) to the personal (my life as a parent and partner).
Third, who am I? No one of particular consequence. I'm not a famous anything or an important anything else. I have no particular distinctions on my CV, and I expect these truths to remain true forever. I try to be a good person every day, and that's about it. More prosaically, I'm a white American male in my late 30s in the American Midwest, which grants me enormous amounts of privilege in this country. I hope one day to get the PhD that adorns my various online handles, but have not started that yet.
Finally, let me reiterate the first point: Thank you, sincerely, for reading all this. And if these are the last words you ever read of mine, let them be this: Be as kind to yourself and those around you as you can.