Remember, Kindness is Inherent

It's such a strange thing to think about, but it's true. To be kind and giving to others is something that is inherent in all human beings. Then why do we need to be reminded almost constantly of this, especially when it comes to skin color or nationality or citizenship status? I dedicated my career to helping others, and I still need a good swift kick in the butt sometimes, which I promptly give to myself when I notice I've been lacking in that department. It's a part of us, it's natural, yet we find ways to bury it. In what? What could be more important? Is it that we are all so self-important that we don't have anything left to give to others after we prop ourselves up?

One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind. I don't remember which astronaut stepping onto the surface of the moon for the first time said that, but it fits here too. Each act of kindness may be small, but it's a piece of the Big Puzzle and just as crucial as all the rest.

This was on my mind while reading the news this morning, scanning for today's post on eyebald, I ran across an article about yesterday's raid on a manufacturing plant in Mississippi that had 600 illegal immigrants working there. When the Homeland Security people broke in and rounded everyone up, the illegals' coworkers applauded. And they weren't just Mexicans. There were immigrants from Brazil, Peru, and Germany, to name a few.

Stop and think back a minute. After WWI, Endicott-Johnson Shoes went overseas to Poland, Italy, Ireland, etc. to recruit workers for their shoe manufacturing plant in upstate NY. Their passage was paid, houses and communities were built for them complete with company stores, and these immigrants happily grabbed up the opportunity to become indentured servants because all of this fluff had to be repaid to EJ Shoes by years and years of work. Piece work, grueling work, in horrible conditions, for a minimum of 15 hours a day. My paternal grandfather came here as part of that new workforce, and spent his life working for EJ Shoes, and so did his wife. He raised all of his children to be bi-lingual, with English as their first language, and to be American all the way.

You see, that kind of "deal" was the way many industries got around the highest cost of manufacturing to make their profits, the cost of raw material being the second highest cost of the process. The government's role in this was to protect the industrialists while they recruited and transported the immigrant workers to the US. In the meantime, American workers watched this and saw that their jobs were at risk, but didn't know why. They only saw immigrants coming in and getting hired. The American worker had no idea that their bosses had brought them here, nor that they were working for far less money than they were to do the same job. And the industrialists let them think what they would, knowing full well they kept a ready workforce available to them at all times this way, and were happy to have lowered their payroll.

So, it started. And it continued. And it's alive and well today. We blame immigrants for taking our jobs, and we resent them for it. But, it is completely misplaced! It's not the immigrants themselves that are to blame, it's the American industries that hold all the responsibility for America losing jobs.

Think about it. Most Big Businesses pay no Federal taxes on anything. Their profits are free and clear. The government exists to protect Big Business and their interest. That the INS is a government agency is a laugh and it always looks the other way when an industry wants to use illegal immigrant workers instead of Americans that are protected by unions and environmental and workplace laws. While hiring illegals means a lower payroll, less tax monies are collected which further waters down the government's ability to protect Big Business, but that doesn't matter because the concern is always for the short-term profit. I guess it's not an alternative to streamline the naturalization process for these imported, illegal immigrants, because if naturalized, they would then fall under US worker protection laws such as minimum wage, and that just isn't what it's all about.

Do you see what I'm saying? Illegal immigration is a product of American industry! It's not the immigrants themselves, it's our own businesses that are to blame! If that wall manages to go up between the US and Mexico, it won't make any difference. You'll still see the same number of "wetbacks" working in our manufacturing plants. And that wall will become a constant reminder of our major misunderstanding and ignorance of what is really going on. How embarrassing.

So, kick yourselves in the butt already and wake up and smell the coffee. Instead of blaming the victims, so to speak, throw your voice of displeasure at the ones that are truly responsible for American job losses - our industries and our government that serves those industries, instead of the American people.

You see, once you realize that this is what is really going on, you won't have to kick yourself so often as a reminder to allow yourself to be kind.

For a great discussion about Random Acts of Kindness, visit the Junk Drawer for "Anyone Need a Hug?". I think you'll see that it isn't so hard to be kind after all.

Pay it forward!


  1. Hey, here is another absolutely horrifying thought, what if many of the INS raids were actually coordinated with the operators of the plants during slow times to add even more unto their profits? For you got to know that they are not going to forward the workers paychecks, nor whatever may have accumulated in a payroll savings plan of some kind, and with replacements waiting just around the corner, no significant disruption of production schedules would be incurred.

    Alas, if only those who have been blessed with so much would come to realize that it is in their best interest to give generously unto others. Thank you for posting this very well written article!

  2. Thank you for this post. My great grandparents also came here from Italy and Russia and were part of the workforce and later became citizens.
    I am proud of them and this whole issue needs to be rethought


  3. @FishHawk - I was thinking about that too and wondered if the illegals are paid with a check or by cash in order to hide the monies since they aren't withholding taxes and all. It's logical what you say, that's for sure. Even with all the public flack about illegal aliens, nothing was done until the economy went south.

    @kystorms - I'm not sure what my grandparents did when they got here, or even if it was something to worry about yet. I have no idea when the INS or naturalization began, and they might've come beforehand.

    Thank you both for your thoughts on this topic!

  4. I do believe a little bit of kindness goes a long way and a lot of times a simple act like a smile is all that is needed. Reminds me of a quotation, "Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." by Mother Teresa

  5. You are exactly right. Here in Arkansas, who actively recruits immigrants? Why, it's good ol' Tyson Foods, of course! People want to blame people for coming here illegally, but not the companies that coax them into hopping over the border.

    Does that mean illegal immigrants get a free pass? No, but companies share some responsibility, too.

  6. BK, are you holding up my name for me to live up to? My mother tried that for years. It didn't work. LOL

    Hawg, being "illegal" is the only way that these companies would hire them. I'm all for pointing the finger right at companies for this problem.

    Here's a case in point. I knew an active duty, deployed soldier's wife, fresh here from England where they met. She tried and tried and tried to get INS to educate her about the naturalization process, but they only sent her threatening letters of deportation. As much as I tried to help, in my capacity of another government employee, I also got nowhere talking to INS. Very bizarre. Here she was from an allied country, doing all that she could to go through the process, married to a man serving in Iraq, and all she got was crap and flack.

  7. Very interesting.

    Nothing to add but that they applauded makes your point all the more vivid.

    There's an Italian joke that says: In America they entice you with streets of gold. The only problem is that they want ME to pave it!

    You have to work to succeed. There are no freebies and I think immigrants understand this when they're "brought" over as you say. They must wonder why they're seen as criminals.

    Food for thought this post gives.

  8. I hadn't heard that joke, C., and it sure does fit. It's something a lot of Americans need to hear and ponder the meaning of. I think their wonder may be as much terror too. My grandfather sure didn't speak English when he came here, but he learned, as do most immigrants. It just takes awhile.