And sometimes, it's not. When Kanye West crashed the MTV Awards last year and as she received the award for Song of the Year, I'll bet his heart was in the right place. He really believed Beyoncé's song should have won, and felt moved to jump up and express it to the world. Let's say he had written it in a blog post. Tweeted about it. Even tattooed it on his arm. We'd have been fine with that, but not crashing a young singer's moment in front of millions of people.

Later that week on a talk show, West said he still hadn't recovered from his mother's death. Oh, I thought, didn't realize that. Then he continued... she'd died two years ago. Two years ago! Remembering Seinfeld's, "Soup Nazi," I felt like the Excuse Nazi. No excuse for you!

Speaking of Nazis (how's that for a segue!), on a site called someone posted a comment using a rainbow swastika as his symbol, and said he intended it in a positive way. To me, it doesn't matter what color you paint it, a swastika is a symbol of evil in my book, now and forever.

Is it the thought that counts or the execution? Maybe both are important, but living by the golden rule means being kind toward others, even if you don't always understand their behavior. It doesn't mean you need to have Kanye West over to dinner ("I'ma let you make that toast, Ruth Williams, but Beyoncé throws better parties than you!") but it does mean that even as we see him repeatedly shifting blame and coming up with excuses, we still decide not to trash-talk him. We wish him well – just at someone else's party.

Action Verbs

Give me more than good intentions.
Put wings on my prayers.
Help me get past, "I feel your pain,"
to "Let's build a well for your village."
Help me be an agent of change
and keeper of peace at the same time.
Instead of my saying, "What's this world coming to?"
Take me farther: "What can I do to make it right?"
Make my life a testament to Your grace
as I leave my comfort zone to go where the need is.
Bless me as I forge into the world to serve.
Transform my passive empathy into passionate action.

-Ruth Williams



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