As Donald Trump remains in denial to the reality of his loss in the US presidential election, late night show hosts are feasting on him with the meanest jokes. I guess, Stephen Colbert tops them all, smashing a wine bottle as if in a meltdown and lashing at the president in one of his monologues: “He’s like a toddler too hopped up on sugar to go to bed... There’s no reasoning with him at this point, you just have to let him tire himself out, wait until he falls asleep on the kitchen floor and hope he hasn’t conspired with the dog to stage a coup.”
Does Trump deserve such verbal abuse? For being so hard-headed and defiant, the Don may need to be reminded of what Abraham Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address extolling the US as “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” But threatening with a sharp broken wine bottle in hand, well, Colbert’s joke has gone out of hand really.
I had an FBLive program, The Free Mel Show, where we added our voice for Trump to concede for a smooth transition of power because that is what democracy is all about. No, I didn’t smash any bottle. Rather I called for people to show a little bit kindness not just to Trump, but to one and all, amidst this pandemic. (Actually, I sang Glenn Campbell’s “Try a Little Kindness).
It is easy to get angry, if not violent in a stressful environment of uncertainty and gloom. We have seen that happen in protests in the US.
Do you know that Nov. 13, 2020 was World Kindness Day? Why not declare the whole month of November as World Kindness Month? One organization, Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, carries the slogan, “Make kindness the norm.” It suggests people to make part of their daily life doing things like “Send an uplifting text to a friend or family member,” “Go slightly outside of your comfort zone at least once a day to make someone smile” and “Reach out to a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while.”
An act of kindness does not have to be grandiose. As motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia once said, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
I was reminded of an incident in 1965 during the 4th Centennial Celebration in Cebu when as an eight-year old I ventured by myself to get a medallion in a huge gathering in the reclamation area where thousands congregated. I made it to the front of the stage, but was too small to reach out to those distributing on the stage. I was nearly crushed as people pushed forward. Then a man said, “There’s a boy here!” He lifted me up, and I was able to receive a medallion. He put me down, as I rushed back home. I never knew that individual; but his act of kindness saved my life. Forever, I am grateful to that stranger.