There’s so much cruelty around, so much unkindness, so much of it delivered by those who have power, that I think it’s time we decided to fight for a new measure: a yardstick aimed at delivering a more humane society.
That is to say, in an electronic world, a society which is more human-e.
Labels are the essence of latterday life: there is nothing more likely to engage a superficial consumer than a competition to put a name on the latest fad. So here we go – and, perhaps, to some future good objective we can devise this yardstick for the betterment of other civilisations.
For I’m truly beginning to get the feeling that the one we call our own will shortly be as morally and economically bankrupt as any other in our complicitly shared (in)human history.
My label then? The Kindness Index. Something to be enshrined in international law, with the political power and widespread recognition to ensure that governments, political parties, civil services, corporations and other significant institutions of current mass organisation pay dutiful homage to the best of our species’ legacy – instead of, as is now the case, to the very worst.
What would it cover? The treatment of the most defenceless in our societies. It is only by observing how we treat those with no power whatsoever that we can usefully determine our moral efficacy and properly define the degree to which we love and cherish natural justice. The following list is by no means complete – but it may serve to help explain what I am looking to achieve:
- The degree to which we support the (so-called) disabled in their common desire to live full and fulfilling lives
- The degree to which the approach of old age is feared by those nearing retirement
- The degree to which those already retired fear winter, the end of the month – maybe the beginning of the month too, maybe every day of the week
- The degree to which work is seen not only as a way of earning one’s living but also as a positive and engaging way of spending one’s time
- The degree to which our children love school and education – maybe enjoy learning not only at home and through their very personal gadgets but also in the presence of other children and in more formal circumstances
- The degree to which our parents love parenting – and are prepared to convey such love to others
- The degree to which we all wish to follow politics and politicians – maybe not only what they do but also what they say
- The degree to which we value and are proud of the way we do things for our nations
In 2003, they said I was mad.
Perhaps I still am.
But I wish, even so, that some of the above could be enshrined in an index which all our leaders and institutions – whether political or business – would not only be obliged to measure up to but would also, actively, choose to subscribe to.
And that such a desire would come out of shared kindly culture.
And that such a desire would come from within.
So what say you? What label? Would the Kindness Index do?