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Man’s inhumanity to man (and to animals and pretty much everything else) is well catalogued throughout history. The cruelty we can often display to others is not only seen in dictators and megalomaniacs. We often display it in many more subtle ways: the toddler who pushes a baby out of the way because the baby is interfering in its self-centred play, the sarcastic comments towards someone who does not share our views, the bullying which goes on in many schools and workplaces. Cruelty may well be a defence mechanism or a means of asserting one’s importance, but it is something we need to eschew. People are more fragile than we realise; we all need to be ‘handled with care’!

Instead of cruelty, let’s find ways to be kind and gentle, to care about other people and to put others before ourselves. In this way, we reflect God’s nature and show others there’s a different way to live.