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Kindness Can Kill if Love is Unwilling to Wound
Kindness is a very great thing and has an important place in our relationships. Kindness is evidenced by goodness and charitable behavior, a pleasantness, tenderness and concern for others.
Kindness is an aspect of love, but it is necessarily distinct from love. For is sometimes happens that love, which wills what is best for the other, may deem it best not to remove all suffering. A father, in fact may impose punishment on a child out of love. Kindness generally seeks to alleviate suffering and negativity. Love understands that suffering often has a salvific role. My parents disciplined me out of love. Had they been merely kind to me, I would likely have been spoiled, undisciplined and ill-equipped for life.
The good eclipses the best – And herein lies the danger of reducing love to kindness. In simply seeking to alleviate the suffering of the moment, or to give people what they want, many deeper issues go unresolved and worsen. Welfare has created a slavish dependence for many in our culture. And it is not just the poor in our cities. There is corporate welfare, and many other subsidies and entitlements, that too many can no longer go without. Rather than addressing the root causes of poverty, dependence or poor economic conditions and bad business models, kindness interrupts love’s deeper role and treats only the suffering of the moment. In this sense what is merely good (i.e. kindness) replaces what is truly best (Love). True love gives what is best, not merely what is immediately preferred.