Finding the Kind in Mankind


Sometimes, when you least expect it, you hear something that causes you to pause; or, in my case made me stop and think, “Seriously? They even USE that word today.” This happened to me when I heard the word “mankind” in a daily reading. Upon deeper reflection I wondered if they even teach the word “mankind” to elementary students. And then, if they DO teach this word, would they even know what it means? Many words end up by the roadside because they are not relevant. This particular word could very well go the way of VCR, disposable film, bubblers, floppy disk, britches, hootenanny, icebox, and then my favorite, the “yuppie.”

When there is no longer a need for the word, the word quietly fades away.

When the word is no longer relevant to people’s lives, it loses its very definition.

And, when you break apart MANKIND, are the two parts mutually inclusive, or exclusive?

St. Luke catechized:

The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.”  (Luke 16:10)

Hearing this, I almost wished I were in a Baptist Church where I could have stood up quickly and shouted out “Amen, Father! Alleluia.” St. Luke was giving “mankind” direction on how to live the kind of life which brings out the best in all, but today it seems as if the very word is an oxymoron. How can the word “man” be united with the word “kind”? There are so many instances in the media where “man” is anything but “kind.” The way society interacts is anything but “kind.” The ability of a person to anonymously be “unkind” has grown exponentially in our interactions with others on social media sites.

As parents it is our duty to teach our children to be “kind.” It is a simple word, but action is needed to exemplify the word, to do honor to the word. So it is with some irony I came across an idea to help others in need on the social media site Pinterest. Many are creating Blessing Bags.

"Finding the Kind in Mankind" by Carol Bannon for

Photo courtesy of Used with permission. All rights reserved.

“We are keeping a “Blessing bag” in our car in case we find someone in need. You can make these up with items from the Dollar Tree such as gloves, thermal socks, beef sticks, crackers, candy bars, toothpaste, toothbrush, wipes, deodorant, snacks and other items that may help someone who is homeless or in a bad way.”

What a simple “kind” idea. When they see someone in need they roll down their window and give them this bag. Anything can go into the bag, but what truly made me see the “kindness” of others was seeing how many people are doing this. One person was using gift certificates for McDonalds or Burger King.  Another was using certificates to Walmart for a shampoo and cut. Some made bags just for women, some just for kids, and others created bags for seniors.

So many people excited to be “kind” to those in need!

Showing how to be kind in small interactions with others is key to our children’s learning how to being kind in larger interactions. We begin teaching the small acts of kindness, and our children will have the tools to be, as St. Luke states, “trustworthy with the large.” Something this small teaches them to look for Christ in others and allows them to discover the goodness in everyone.

Random acts of kindness done by “mankind” for others, without a thought of anything in return.

“Mankind,” it seems, is not an oxymoron.

Almost makes me want to throw a hootenanny to celebrate.

Copyright 2016 Carol Bannon


About Author

Carol Sbordon Bannon is a full-time writer with a degree in elementary education from Worcester State University. She is a substitute teacher and has been a catechist for over thirty years. In addition to A Handshake From Heaven, she is also the coauthor of Our Family's Christmas Elf. She is happily married and currently resides in Concord Township, Ohio. Visit Carol at

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