Disclaimer: this is a river of emotional stream of consciousness. Artist making sense of this world. Also, the word kindness and its derived forms have been used in this text 18 times.
I love kindness. I love how it feels when I’ve been kind to someone and I love how it feels when someone’s been kind to me. Because of that reason I’ve been more observant of my engagement with kindness. I’ve watched myself and I’ve learned that I have at times refrained from kindness in order to protect my self (strangers on the street, etc…).
I love kindness and yet I haven’t learned how to actively offer kindness. I want to learn to engage with kindness in every interaction. Kindness sometimes feels like just a random reactive act, like when you open the door for someone, or when you send a present to someone for their birthday. Those things are kind, for sure. But they seem so scarce and spread out in time.
I notice the real challenge in engaging with kindness when I’m upset at someone, or I’m busy and in a hurry. The intention of being kind goes absolutely away then. At my best I offer space and indifference. Kindness has at times felt rare.
But something has changed lately: In the last few years I’ve been surrounding my self with the kindest human beings I’ve ever met. These beautiful humans have taken care of me in times of illness; they’ve fed me in times when I couldn’t feed myself (I was at the hospital for some days for a bowel obstruction a couple of months ago… yay). They’ve also loaded me with gifts, words of appreciation and a ton of quality time.
So I wonder, has the world gotten kinder? I’d like to think so but the news say something else.
And then, maybe by contrast, I recognize I have things to be grateful for.
When I feel grateful I feel like reciprocating. It seems like a natural consequence derived from gratitude. The one question that keeps popping up in my mind when it comes down to gratitude and reciprocity is:
“What’s the kindest thing” I can do right now? I want to ask myself that question always, at all times. That includes being kind to others, to myself, to animals, the planet, everyone and everything. This world is so beautiful. I will practice this question until the day I die. Just as an experiment, shall we all try this? Maybe the news will start changing for a kinder world.