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June 2019 Kindness

June's track was “Kindness”, composed and sung by Jade Taylor and accompanied by Steve Meckfessel, a heartfelt and incisive composer as well, playing his Veranda. While waiting at the Portland airport a few years ago to be picked up for my annual visit to friends Jeff and Cyndy, where I get my luthier batteries recharged while savoring our friendship as we all participate in an annual instrument makers exhibit, I was standing near a cheerful, engaging woman who enquired as to the contents of the two large triangulate boxes at our feet. When told they contained guitars of my construction, it took little time to learn that she was a songwriter, also living in California (Santa Cruz), and that her latest CD had a track accompanied solely by Steve playing one of my guitars. After trading CDs and a pleasant, too brief conversation, we went our separate ways. Recently, over dinner with friends, I lamented the polarizing enmity between people of differing political views, the current lack of bipartisan politics, and the downright cruelty of legislated tax cuts and health care rollbacks yanking away barely minimal safety nets, all seemingly abetted by an increasing dearth of empathy among us all. When the very next day the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about a Stanford professor’s book on that very subject, and a class he taught on kindness, with exercises aimed to help develop a greater capacity for empathy and its correlative kindness, I knew my next track to share. From Professor Jamil Zaki: “Empathy is an ancient engine for kindness, much older than our species. It is the scaffold on which human culture is built. Our house may be teetering, but we don’t have to let it collapse.” Read his article here


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