“If we let it, kindness will be a part of what saves us from the divisions and disharmony that have become cemented in how we coexist, from the sting when we talk about what grieves us and moves us to action and from the pride of our postures online and across tables as we advocate for that which we believe in so strongly.”From Human(Kind) by Ashlee Eiland
I opened Ashlee Eiland’s Human(Kind) unsure what I was going to read, I didn’t expect the humour, wisdom and insights I discovered! Each chapter is an essay on a single topic drawn from Ashlee’s experience but relevant to each reader and eye-opening to those of us from a different culture or country.
“Do we see people like that now? Do we look for the newcomer, the outcast, or the individual who seems uncertain? Or do we stick to our agendas, taking shortcuts so we won’t have to be disturbed or interrupted?.”From Human(Kind) by Ashlee Eiland
Ashlee is a black, female pastor in America. She is also a mom, a daughter, a friend, a university graduate and so much more. Every facet of her humanity is explored, the roles each of us holds in life examined and how our labels and categorisations shape our world. She’s endured so many struggles and overcome so much to achieve what she has and, in the process, discovered so many insights into Christianity and living out Jesus’ love. The reader is challenged to reflect on their own life and what is to gained from the experiences.
“The assumptions we make, even with the best intentions, have the power to inflict the harshest wounds, forming craters where there could’ve been a bridge.”From Human(Kind) by Ashlee Eiland
I thoroughly enjoyed a couple of chapters a day, taking time to reflect on the happenings and working out how it applied to my own life. It is a call to kindness, to appreciating ourselves as we are and, in doing so, to loving each other better.
“This is the journey of humankindness: knowing and loving ourselves fully and honoring the hand life has dealt us, emptying ourselves for others, seeing the fullness of joy and hurt and pain in every interaction, and then choosing to regard another with humility and selflessness anyway.”From Human(Kind) by Ashlee Eiland
It’s a five out of five on the enJOYment scale and highly recommended, this book is a delight and a challenge but definitely one to read!
From the back cover:
Long before polls, protests, and political issues divided us, we were joined by a humanness that God considered very good. Created in his image, we reflected the height and depth of God’s loving-kindness, but our discord has blinded us to the imago Dei in us all.
In this compelling collection of essays, Ashlee Eiland shares her story of being a black woman living on two sides of the fence: as the token black girl in majority-white spaces and as the “whitewashed” black girl in majority-black spaces. As she discovers her own unique worth through these recollections, Ashlee learns that extending radical kindness toward every person—regardless of social status, political views, or religious beliefs—gives us hope and rekindles our common humanity.
With grace and humility, Human(Kind) invites us to chart our own formative journeys and recognize our inherent value, cultivating empathy so we may once again see the image of God shining brightly within one another.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Waterbrook and Multnomah through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.