Some of us still remember Diana Ross singing “Reach out and Touch” in 1970. While I was 11 at the time, it was then and still is a solid message for love and kindness.

“Reach out and touch

Somebody’s hand

Make this world a better place—if you can….” 

I was for it then and all for it today. 

Now, fast forward 40 years, and with a similar message, Ellen DeGeneres spoke this week of rooting for the Packers, her new iPhone, and her friend George Bush. Ellen brilliantly spoke of “kindness” among different thinkers with different ideas.  

Unlike the Diana Ross song, Ellen’s message of kindness has been interpreted by some as elitist.

However, not everyone’s on that page, and here’s my take.

Currently, many of us have followed the current trend of commenting, reacting, and responding to anything that is put out on the wires.  And not just responding, but instead being outraged. We have become a country of reactors, as opposed to a nation of those who take personal leadership to actually create change, as opposed to calling out what is different.

We must be more significant than our words and, instead, rely on our actions. I think about it, am admittedly guilty of it at times, and remind myself of the importance of actions over words… 

In my job, I am mindful and focused on ending suffering for all people. I think that’s basically something we all want. 

It’s why I founded Less Cancer—to reduce the incidences of cancer and prevent the kind of pain and suffering that comes with it. 

And it is done purely from the perspective of treating others humanely—and by that I mean all others… as in everyone. Even those, I disagree with or even find pretty rotten.

What if we operated in a world where civility is on our minds, just civility?

What if, as opposed to coming up with the next “good one,” we all did one thing that actually mattered. That every day, we focus on ending suffering, no matter who we are—no matter—we would actually work to end suffering each day.  You don’t have to start an organization or a movement -but possibly just being gentler with ending suffering for all in mind.

If our focus were on something more significant, and if we were all charged with contributing to raising up humanity, we could in fact be addressing real problems.

It doesn’t have to be about cancer. It could be any public issue, such as hunger, or homelessness, or climate change. Working to end suffering doesn’t mean sitting back and being unengaged but rather jumping in and being involved. We can each take steps to work on any of these things to end human suffering.  

So I challenge you to up the kindness game. Let’s make it about ending suffering for all.