The saying “kill ‘em with kindness” holds power in today’s society

Naiya Gates, Humor Editor

The intensity of recent politics has increased tensions between people in what were once peaceful communities, which are now overwhelmed by the toxic methods of communication within them. When it feels like all desperate attempts of unity only create more division, we must stop to think about the errors in our process and why things aren’t working.  Even in smaller arguments, the saying “kill ‘em with kindness” has never seemed so powerful until now, applying to almost every part of our lives.

I’m sure many can relate to the sickening disappointment you feel when you see a friend or someone you look up to say something homophobic or racist. Then comes that desire to attack them on social media, call them out, and teach them a lesson. Yet, when you see the reposts all over Instagram and the name-calling on Snapchat, the anticipated feeling of satisfaction never sets in. This is because that underlying goal, to help that person become more inclusive and respectful, was never able to be reached because the person was only given the opportunity to  defend themselves from floods of attacks. The opportunity to realize and reflect upon themselves to change for the better was stripped when all their energies were put into self-defense. 

The trending act of “exposing someone” simply puts a person in the spotlight ready for a verbal beating for the mistakes they made, a striking resemblance to the thought process of “cancel culture.” Nobody is perfect and for a person to truly apologize and recognize their wrongdoings, they have to feel safe, emotionally, physically and mentally. Cancel culture only does the opposite, allowing room for villainization, stripping their humanity and making it unacceptable to make the mistakes every single human makes. 

By putting action to the words “kill ‘em with kindness,” you are able to achieve your primary goal without having to beat the person down. However, by no means does this excuse or submit to them. Hold them accountable while also showing them grace and allowing them to apologize. By just showing a little grace, you let them know that you value and care for them as a person, and you expect that they have that same respect in their heart for other people, too. Coincidentally, that mutual love and respect you were trying to achieve in the first place really begins with you.