The best song of the year at the Country Music Association’s 2016 awards was “Humble and Kind.”
It’s a timely, needed song for getting America back to basics after a bruising, nasty, disappointing presidential election. Let’s read the words. Let’s watch the video. Let’s sing along; let’s live the song.
One treasured verse says, “Go to church ’cause your mamma says to / Visit grandpa every chance that you can / It won’t be wasted time / Always stay humble and kind.”
And then: “Hold the door, say ‘please,’ say ‘thank you’ / Don’t steal, don’t cheat and don’t lie / I know you got mountains to climb / But always stay humble and kind.”
Still another moving verse is “Don’t expect a free ride from no one / Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why: / Bitterness keeps you from flyin’ / Always stay humble and kind.”
Take these words to live by: “Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you / When you get where you’re going, don’t forget turn back around / And help the next one in line / Always stay humble and kind.”
A mother of five, Lori McKenna, wrote the song for her children, hoping she was teaching them the little things, the basic things, the acts and attitudes that make life better.
Country music star Tim McGraw then sang the song. Drawing footage from Oprah’s seven-part film series, “Belief,” McGraw’s video won CMT Video of the Year.
The footage is as breathtaking as the words are inspiring. Footage contains images from different generations, ethnicities, races, healthy souls and ill ones, dances and disabilities, cultures, faith practices of devotees from Christian, Jews, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
If you doubt my words, watch and listen to McGraw’s video.
So, where are some basic ways to be humble and kind in post-election America?
- Refrain from claiming God’s candidate won.
- Don’t crow that your candidate won. Don’t blame the winning candidate for voter fraud.
- Back away from thinking the sky is falling or that manna is raining down from heaven.
- Take the presidential bumper stickers off your car.
- Discard your yard signs.
- Stop the name-calling.
- Take a sabbatical from cable “news.”
- Live simply so that others may simply live.
- Pay forward goodwill.
- Walk humbly, love kindly, seek justice.
- Love your neighbor as you ought to love yourself.
- Honor your Christian faith by respecting other faiths.
- Be humble and kind.
Robert M. Parham (1953 – 2017) was the founder and executive director of Baptist Center for Ethics from 1991 to 2017. He served as executive editor of EthicsDaily.com, BCE’s website, from its launch in 2002 until 2017.