Kindness, that is what is on my mind these days….
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
I have an event in my life right now that has made me more fragile than usual. My grandmother passed away this week. I can go into that more at a different time, right now I have been thinking about kindness and how everyone needs this. I go out into my day and I am wounded. I am sad, I am feeling a loss, an important one. And 98% of the people I meet have no idea. The people in line with me at the stores don’t know, the person I pass on my walk has no idea. Many people in my church today had no reason to know. At my work this only a handful of people knew. Of course my friends know and are helping me. They reach out, they are gentle with me, they are loving to me. They understand I am little fragile right now.
But what about the others, the majority of people I interact with everyday. Well, what a blessing, most of them are kind. They smile and the smile reaches their eyes. They greet me happily. They wish me well. They are nice to me. And they do not know I am broken inside. What I am thinking is that most of them are too.
Plato did say it “we are all fighting a battle”. The women in line at the grocers, maybe she choose food instead of fuel. The person walking past me, does their car run? Do they have one? That person that greeted me, are they well, is someone they love sick? They child that is smiling, do they live in a loving home?
I could go on forever, you know what I am saying. It is hard out there. Life is not just an easy slide to heaven. There is work do be done here. There are lessons to be learned here. We have to break our own boundaries and our own barriers. We have to love and lose and love again. We have to have sickness and then heal. We have to stand at the edge of disaster and feel the power in ourselves that comes from recovery. All of us, everyone, has pain, frustration, loss, sadness and longing. All of us, everyone, needs to know we are loved.
And how can we show that to the world? We can be kind. Yes, it is easy to be kind when you know there is a problem. I am telling you right now, there is always a problem. We just don’t know it. It doesn’t mean it is not real. It doesn’t mean the problem does not deserve love or respect. If we are not told or are not a witness, does not the pain still exist? Yes, we know it does.
So we can be kind. We can assume that everyone we meet needs love, needs a smile, needs gentleness. Be kind, if nothing else, just be kind. Have a moment to say you exist, I acknowledge you. I know you are fighting a battle somewhere, somehow, and I am fighting my own right along side you. We don’t have to talk about it. We don’t have to share or know everything. We can just start by being here, available and human. We can recognize that each person has a whole life and parts of it are hard. And we can show kindness.
So right now i am little fragile, but mostly I am really grateful. And every time someone is kind that gratitude grows. And it makes me want to be kind. I want to smile at you. I want to share a kind word. I want you to know you are not alone. Whatever you are fighting, whatever your burden, we are in this together. So the next time you have a chance, be kind. It may be the best thing that happens to that person that day. We never know where our gifts end up, but we do know that kindness ripples outward and spreads peace and love.
May kindness visit every day, many times……