Megan Wolfe: A kinder society, yes, but we need justice, too

More civility and kindness is necessary, but true kindness can’t ignore injustice and oppression.

Megan Wolfe is executive director of Girls on the Run of Snohomish County. (Girls on the Run of Snohomish County)

Megan Wolfe is executive director of Girls on the Run of Snohomish County. (Girls on the Run of Snohomish County)

By Megan Wolfe / Herald Forum

Lately I’ve seen a lot of calls for a return to civility and kindness locally and nationally.

I agree that living in a kinder, more civil community would be wonderful, but I believe there is a big difference in what people mean when they say they want the world to be a kinder place. From what I’ve seen, many of those calling for kindness in our society are actually wanting a return to a time when their bigotry and prejudice went unquestioned or unchallenged. They want a return to a system of quiet acceptance of discrimination and hate.

I’d love for us to live in a kinder society. A society that puts people’s needs first and foremost. A society that sees people being oppressed and stands up and says “this cannot continue.” The most kind leaders I see in our community are actively fighting for a more just world.

Kindness is standing up for others, standing up against oppression and the oppressors, standing up for what is right, standing up for other people’s humanity. Kindness means that we are fighting for people from all walks of life to have access to housing, food, health care, and support. A kinder society would have less hate being spewed by leaders and neighbors and would be focused on how to solve problems instead of winning power.

The kindness I want to see in Snohomish County is leaders who get loud about the systems of oppression that hold us all back. I want to see my friends and neighbors speaking up about hate and discrimination in our community.

I believe a truly kind community would be working hard to make sure every member of the community has housing and food, that mental health crises are handled with compassion and empathy, that all our schools are top notch no matter what neighborhood they are in. A kinder society would never put up with blatant or subtle racism, homophobia, transphobia or misogyny.

A kinder society would be a wonderful place to live and it will take all of us to get there. So get loud about injustice and start spreading kindness by standing up to bigotry and hatred in our society.

Megan Wolfe is executive director for Girls on the Run, Snohomish County, which offers programs for girls in third- through eighth-grade.

Talk to us

More in Opinion

An artist's rendering shows features planned for the first floor of an expansion of the Imagine Children's Museum. The area will include a representation of the old bicycle tree in Snohomish and an outdoorsy Camp Imagine. (Imagine Children's Museum)
Editorial: GivingTuesday offers chance to build better future

Organizations, such as Imagine Children’s Museum, need our support as we look past the pandemic.

Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, Nov. 30

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

School-age lead Emilee Swenson pulls kids around in a wagon at Tomorrow’s Hope child care center on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 in Everett, Washington. A shortage of child care workers prompted HopeWorks, a nonprofit, to expand its job training programs. Typically, the programs help people with little or no work experience find a job. The new job training program is for people interested in becoming child care workers. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Editorial: Everett must make most of pandemic windfall

Using federal funds, the mayor’s office has outlined $20.7M in projects to address covid’s impacts.

Editorial: Small Business Saturday a focus for local economy

Shopping locally supports your community’s businesses and employees and offers extraordinary gifts.

A man crosses the road under stoplights at Casino Road and Evergreen Way on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019 in Everett, Wash. The lights at Casino Road and Evergreen Way are being considered for controversial red-light traffic cameras. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Editorial: Train red-light cameras on problem intersections

The cameras, planned for seven Everett locations, should help prevent costly and deadly accidents.

Comment: Omicron met quickly with transparency and caution

Countries reacted quickly. The best advice now is to keep calm and continue vaccination efforts.

Harrop: There is a fix for stupid, at least concerning covid

How much sympathy are we to muster for those who die after campaigning against covid vaccines?

Comment: Biden learned from Carter’s mistakes on gas prices

Carter’s tough-love scolding wasn’t wrong on policy, but it lacked empathy for average Americans.

Comment: Keep history’s racist accounts, but not as only source

Removing the stories told by white men would whitewash history, but context must be provided.

Most Read