The Magic of Kindness

magic of kindness

 

 

Kindness is magic.. It is a warm glow that uplifts the heart and nurtures the soul. We are social creatures and we rely on the milk of human kindness.   It is simple yes, but too eluding in this world. It is all too rare and oh so beautiful like a lone purple wildflower among a sea of indifferent green.

As I’ve grown older I appreciate simple acts of kindness more and more.

There are two sides to kindness; the giving and the receiving. Both teach us valuable and distinct lessons and at some point in our lives we will have experienced each side to varying degrees.

kindness kind cat lady old wheelchair

I have found those who have suffered the most, endured the most, to be some of the most understanding, generous and kindest people I’ve ever met, but that road is not easy, these are the exceptional ones, the stronger ones, there are others, ones that have fallen by the wayside. The ones that society is all to eager to overlook.   There are those with hard outer shells forged out of fear, the ones that seem too tough to crack. They may be gruff, indifferent or just plain mean. All of them are human beings and nine times out of ten all they need is some simple human kindness. One could say that there are those who don’t deserve such a precious commodity as kindness. I say they are the ones that need it the most.   It’s not easy to be kind to some.  Be the stronger one.

Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.

-Kahlil Gibran

To openly express empathy for someone else, especially a stranger is sometimes  looked upon as weak or at least eccentric in our society.  How off the mark is that? It requires strength to practice compassion. Being kind is not always so easy.  It often requires putting aside our natural selfishness to put someone else first. It may involve some sort of sacrifice however small or large, and no one said it would be easy.   We have all heard stories of great kindnesses done upon others.  It makes my heart sing to hear of these good deeds but it is those simple kindnesses; the one’s we do everyday unto each other, the one’s that seldom get noticed. To me,  they are the most important, the most crucial in adding some peace, love and understanding to this eclectic mix of lifeforms on this lovely planet of ours.

kindess -everything--kind-people-are-magnets-for-all-the-good-things-in-life-

 

If we as a  society can collectively decide to put a greater focus on kindness and it’s cultivation, our world would be a kinder place. Kindness is an asset to our civilization and it should be treated as a precious commodity.

Empathy and kindness should not only be encouraged in schools but taught. We are not born being kind. It isn’t until at least the age of two before we show our natural capacity for empathy and it isn’t until four or five before we exhibit a theory of mind, meaning that we are able to understand that other people may have feelings and beliefs that are different from our own.

kindness girls sunflowers friends
The capacity to care is what gives life its most deepest significance. ~Pablo Casals

 

We learn kindness from others; by how we are treated and our experiences. We are shaped by this. Those of us who have experienced kindness, gentleness and love in our lives, especially in our younger years are more apt and more able to express those very same emotions and sensitivities to others.  It is  our young people who will form the world of the future. It is these same people that are being exposed to constant messages of civil unrest, violence, bigotry and hatred. Our society tells us one thing and does another. The civilness of what we deem a civilization is eroding at the edges.  I fear we are being desensitized to the suffering of others–there’s so much of it.  The media puts this suffering on center stage dressed up as infotainment and presented to us through the safety of our screens. It’s easier to be indifferent, it’s easier not to care.

All the more reason to care…

 

kindness hands I will be there for you

 

I am compelled to make up for every little pain I have endured in my life, every unkindness done to me, through indifference or pure malice. I try not to take the acts and attitudes of others personally. I’ve found most of those who strike out in anger do so not out of hate for the victim but out of a  hatred for themselves. Hurt travels. It is infectious; a vicious cycle of contagion.  This is something I try not to succumb to.

It is kindness that I like to spread as my defiant act against a cold and heartless world.  For every unkindness done to me, I try to do a kindness to make up for it.   That warm glow is priceless my friends and it feel so good. Simply put: Doing good makes us feel good.

 

 

This is the stuff that can change the world.  We can change the world!  One smile at at a time, one act of kindness multiplied by seven billion..and then some and then some more..until those acts of kindness cover us all and heals the hurt that ails us.

~NLM

kindness quote dalai lama art

 

 

 

Related articles

What if Schools Taught Kindness? (Huffingtonpost.com)

Natalie Merchant – Kind and Generous

  Random Acts of Kindness website

Advertisements

I Believe

shinebright sunset in hand shadow

I believe in magic.

The magic that lives inside each and everyone of us. I believe that our belief in ourselves in the single most important factor in determining our present and our future.

I believe in the almighty power of LOVE and that the meek shall inherit the earth…if we believe.    

I believe in unity and understanding, in tolerance and compassion. I believe in the power of a smile and that a little kindness can go a long way. 

I believe that diversity is beautiful and inclusion makes us strong.  I believe we can stand together for what is truly important and I believe we have the wisdom to know just what that is.

We are all in this together. We are an intrinsic part of the greater world around us.

unity big-wave

Drop by drop, like rain falling into sea–there is an incredible force in that which is

WE.

I believe in UNITY

and that it’s our right and responsibility, our duty to ourselves and future generations to make this world a better place.

WE have more power than we know

unity peace people

 It is we who create our own reality

We need to love more and judge less. We need to listen and hug like there is no tomorrow. We need bravery and character and backbone. 

We need action and work and planning and focus.

We need HOPE

and dreams…we need one another.

We need to believe. That is what I believe more than anything; we need to believe. 

~NLM

 Wizard's Hat in Bandon on the Oregon Coast
Wizard’s Hat in Bandon on the Oregon Coast

That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality–your soul, if you will–is as bright and shining as any that has ever been….Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.”

― George Saunders

Wisdom from Unlikely Places

I have found wisdom in unlikely places. In places some would say there is none to be found. In long dark hotel hallways at 3 am and brightly lit hospital corridors at seven fifteen. I have heard it come from the mouths of sweet innocent children and raving lunatic drunks…whispered by the howling wind, written in misspelled curse words scrawled on subway walls.

Wisdom can be hard-fought and long won over the ages. It can be found by standing on the shoulders of giants. It can be located in the deep dusty corners of one’s mind patiently awaiting attention. Wisdom can take flight into insight and explode into enlightenment. It can descend into fire and chaos and emerge like the Phoenix. Wisdom is golden. It is the light.

gold sunset ocean sea light glitter

 

Wisdom is like stained glass. Cracked and beautiful, letting the light shine through. Breaking into a million pieces…

 I carefully pick up the broken shards. Each one unique and beautiful in it’s own way. The truth is not always beautiful but the seeking of it is. I accept each begotten piece, judging them not but embracing them for what they are; glimpses of knowing and experiencing. Windows into the heart and the soul and oh yes. an open door to glorious understanding.

Credit: Copyright © Janet Hince and Heart To Harp, 2010 – 2014.

The truth does not question me, why do I question the truth? It remains in the eye of the beholder but I seek a more unblinking eye of logic and find none exists.  Whatever we are and whatever we do we cannot separate ourselves from our very human feelings and these feelings can cloud our vision and effect our reality, at times to our detriment. It’s easy to doubt the validity of a message due to the doubtfulness and dubiousness of it’s messenger but in all rationality can the truth cease to be the truth if comes from something or someone we dislike? Something bad or wrong or evil?

 

eye evil dark scare fear

 

Can we learn from wickedness? Can a exquisite flower spring up from frozen lifelessness? Can a seed of understanding be gleaned from a stark and abandoned field? Can adversity, fear and pain teach us anything? What about dark and horrible things? What can beauty learn from ugliness?

flower snow crocus purple

Some of the most beautiful people have suffered and they understand; knowing firsthand the power of love and compassion. Being in the position of having to rely on the kindness of strangers is apt to make one a kinder stranger…a kinder person…

Rose Meaning quote thorns

As so it goes. All we can do is gather our pieces of wisdom, saving some for a rainy day or to chew on later on some idle Tuesday. We can store them in forgotten boxes under the bed or we can bring them out and use them for the good and betterment of us all.

Stuff to ponder I suppose…

~Nancy

 

.

Stephane Grappelli & Michel Petrucciani – Misty

An Indigo Rant

screaming woman in public domain

I’m angry…damned angry. Boiling mad angry. This is a rant my friends and if you don’t wish to see the darker side of SBI please look away. Come back again on another day. That is a warning and this is a rant!

I feel someone should speak up here. I suppose I lead a sheltered existence, safe in my little blog world where I am surrounded by enlightened and caring people.  I do however venture out to the virtual world at large, and oh yes, we all know this world can be ugly, unbearably ugly.

I try to stay  away from all this but I am concerned.  I do care and I am curious.  I recently visited the Huffington Post. It is a place I go. I have an account there and I am called theindigoside. As the name suggests it is the indigo side. I can get somewhat political but I am me, and all the me I can be.

I ran into a story:

Timothy Alsip, Oregon Homeless Man, Robs Bank For $1, Asks To Go To Jail To Access Healthcare

TIM-ALSIP

This is all very sad.  Many of us in The United States have no health care. I was chatting with a British friend of mine on Facebook and had a difficult time explaining how our system “works”. I personally have recently lost my benefits and those for my two children. It is a scary thing to be at risk like that but  I am grateful and I feel blessed to have all that I do…but I digress.  This rant is not about me.

This poor man in the story is a homeless and obviously desperate man. He could be mentally ill. He could have a myriad of problems.  This is not my point….it is obvious again that he could be doing better but he is not. THAT is a fact.  We could go over who and what the problem is. We could blame the government, the Democrats or the Republicans. We could blame the one percent or the 99. We could blame his parents, society or corporations..we could even blame the man himself.

The world is f**ked my friends, oh yes, we all know this…

This is all valid but this is not why I am so upset, at least not at this time. Right now,  I am upset about the type of comments this story received.  I am appalled really.

No one saw the sadness, no one had any empathy for this man. Some blamed the “freeloaders” of society. Many had someone or something to blame.  Some made fun of his appearance and all the comments I read blamed him in some way. Not one of them had any sympathy for this poor fellow human.

It was a competition on who could be more clever and witty than the person before them.  I probably put myself up for ridicule with these people but I had to speak up…I had to…

This was my response:

However someone looks at it. Whoever someone blames for the ills of society. Whatever someone says trying to be clever and witty all the while sitting at home with a full stomach and a nice warm comfortable bed to retire to. In this someone’s opinion it is a sad and sorry state that has befallen us when no one has any sympathy, empathy or any sort of feelings for a fellow human being.
NO one is immune to adversity. However and whatever some may think. One’s fate can turn on a dime, just like that. This story is just sad. Damn sad all around.”

And it is not just here. It is everywhere. I see smug self-satisfied people judging others. It is so easy to do so. It is easy for some to tell themselves that their luck or success or whatever is due to the deserving of it.   It also is easy to save one’s compassion for the attractive while condemning those who are not so much; old people, ill people ,the homeless, the wretched, the insane, and the troubled. It is easy for some to blame and condemn, to point the finger to all except themselves.

Many rich people have worked very hard and so have many poor people. Good fortune plays a huge role and that fortune can and does change.  As we all know the rain falls on us one and all.

I know for a fact that you are not like this. You are compassionate and wise and wonderful.

Surrounded by people like you all the time one could think everyone is like you, but this is not the case.  I know I am preaching to the choir here.  I guess what I’m trying to say….

…next time you hear some of this garbage being spewed by your fellow human please stand up for us. Set the record straight, help us all and preach understanding and compassion. Let those who hold these sorts of negative and unproductive opinions know that that sort of thing will not be tolerated. Speak up for the voiceless, the misunderstood and the ugly. Stand up for the ill and the homeless and the poor people who have done nothing wrong but be poor.    We all deserve kindness.

speak-the-truth-300x287

Because…

quotes suess EarthDay

Thanks for listening,

~SBI

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ― Plato

.

Kindness

Kind·ness:

The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. A kind act.

Synonyms            kindliness – goodness – favor – affability

Com·pas·sion:
Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. 
Synonyms:     commiseration – sympathy – condolence – empathy

How we humans treat our fellow humans is truly a measure of our collective humanity. Besides our intelligence, what sets us apart from other animals is the empathy and compassion we not only possess but thrive on.

We are all connected.  We all have wants and needs and feelings.  We are dependant on each other not just for tangible reasons but for emotional as well. We need each other.  It is instinctive and it goes back to our birth hundreds of thousands of years ago. And in my opinion it is one of the reasons we have become so formidable as a race.

There is strength in unity and harmony is essential to unity. Harmony is built on kindness and mutual respect. And as they say “Kindness begets kindness.”

Kindness can be simple and easy and fun. Doing an act of kindness feels good and it should. Altruism is a noble trait and as we endeavor to overcome our savage part and concentrate on the noble; even the simplest and most basic acts of kindness can go much further than we think.

Positive or negative emotions are contagious; they spread like wildfire.  One person’s bad day can leave behind a lot of bad feelings and bad days for others.  Of course, this goes the same for someone’s good day and it is these good days that must be shared.

The smallest of acts can make a dramatic difference. A kind word, even a smile can be heaven-sent to someone who’s having a bad day or rough go of it.  These days many people are having a rough go of it.

I have been on the giving and receiving end of this vital human connection and have experienced the full spectrum of feelings regarding it. As my experiences of late have shown me, being in the need of kindness makes one appreciate it all the more.

I can’t help but notice the kindness and generosity, the compassion possessed by those with the least to give. I see it time and time again and these times have really brought it home.  I have found people to be more understanding…more down to earth and much kinder than I ever thought.

If anything good could come out of this “Great Recession” it’s that it has forced many of us to slow down our rampant consumerism and concentrate on what is really important; each other, not things…….and really, if anything, no matter what your personal circumstances…..it’s given us all the more reason to be kind to each other.

Strawberryindigo.