“What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness.” Barbara Kingsolver
Kindness has taken on a new meaning for me. I still embrace kindness as an act of doing something nice for someone or something. But I believe it goes beyond actions and extends to the realm of being, it is an attitude that flows from our heart. It is a genuine mixture of care and compassion and extends to all.
When kindness roots itself in our heart we become a kind person. We notice the suffering of others and hold humanity close within. Upon observing or hearing of someone committing a vicious act or speaking spiteful words, the heart of kindness sees beyond the action to the pain that has created the meanness and the anguish of another.
When we have kindness in our heart we withhold judgment and look instead to the spirit of the person. No one deserves to be kicked when they are down or told they need to lie in the bed they made. Sometimes we need to be taught how to make the bed differently by someone who cares enough to reach out and show us. I believe kindness trumps judgment.
I aspire to a life of kindness and gentleness towards myself, and a spirit of benevolence towards the world and its occupants. I have seen the power of kind words and actions and have witnessed attitudes soften and behavior change in an instant through one act of kindness.
We all need kindness in our lives. Civilizations and relationships rise and fall on kindness. We are born for kindness. To be treated with kindness feels like a gentle rain falling upon a thirsty earth, and I believe there are many parched souls among us. I wonder what would happen on this planet if we shared a vision of being kind souls who pour gentleness upon the earth and its inhabitants.
Remember: We are ALL spirit beings having a human experience.
Before you know what kindness really is
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
Before you know kindness
“Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye, from The Words Under the Words: Selected Poems. © Eighth Mountain Press, 1995.