Small moments of kindness peek through our everyday lives, from your neighbors’ “Good morning!” to a surprise “I’ll take care of that for you” at the office. This week, we want you to explore what that kindness means to you, and share it with others.
Kindness is the simple form of compassion. Kindness recognizes the oneness in the other, the me in the you.
Living on this planet, I have not always experienced kindness! In particular, living in large cities like Detroit, kindness wasn’t the first lesson learned. Watching your back was. My son grew up in the city and had a hard time unlearning the cautious behavior of a Detroit dweller. We didn’t park in dark places, checked for shadows before getting out of the car, didn’t stop at stop signs on Jefferson on the way home from a concert or other activity. We didn’t go to the fireworks downtown or into areas with crime rampant.
We lived in the actual city for four years, before the gunshots got so loud and started coming down our street. Then we got out, out to the suburbs where you still had to be careful, but where you wouldn’t get shot in your living room.
Being kind is a simple thing to do. When I visit DH, I usually go around lunch time so I can help feed him if necessary. Every time I go there, one of the staff will either bring me a chair and will always offer me a drink while I’m feeding him. So kind of them, because they are rushed off their feet. I think they could use extra help at mealtimes just to get everything done. The residents don’t have much patience left so making sure they get their meals is a rush job. And they take time out for us.
My need to be kinder began with the death of my mother. She didn’t have the milk of human kindness, as my father said. She couldn’t put herself in other people’s shoes. She couldn’t feel what others feel. It was an immense sadness to me to figure this out – but at least I could quit blaming her. If she didn’t have it in her, she will next time around.
Being kind goes hand in hand with being happy. It is so easy to be kind when you’re happy. And when you’re not? Then you need to be kind to yourself first and then the kindness grows like an unstoppable flame and spreads to everything and everyone you touch.
My grandfather used to say that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Funny, he was my mother’s father. I guess she didn’t pay attention to that! Oh yes, honey goes a long way. If you’re not constantly creating friction in your life …………. you get in the flow, you’re kind, people are kind back, you glow with kindness. Much easier to live this way.