March 6    

Today's quotation:

A single act of kindness may have a long trajectory and touch those we will never meet or see.  Something that we casually offer may move through a web of connection far beyond ourselves to have effects that we may have never imagined.  And so each of us may have left far more behind us than we may ever know.

Rachel Naomi Remen

Today's Meditation:

One of the conscious attitudes that I've adopted over the years has been to err on the side of kindness, always.  I don't always do it because I often make mistakes, but I do my best to make sure that if I'm going to make a mistake with another human being, I want that mistake to be on the side of kindness.  This is especially true with my students, who could use a teacher to show kindness instead of strictness and severity every now and then.  I can't let the kindness be a way of avoiding difficult issues or decisions, of course, but it is a way of life that allows me to show kindness and compassion to people who may need to see them.

I also try to find simple ways to express kindness in everyday life.  Allowing someone to go ahead of me in line; giving that extra dollar or two--or ten--when someone's short; doing the rest of a job when someone else is extremely tired; sincerely complimenting or encouraging someone.  These are all simple acts that don't take much effort or great resources, but that add to the positive energy of the world, and add a memory of a kindness done to the recipient.

We'll never know the results of many of our kind acts.  The person we loaned money to may do something wonderful for someone else in an effort to pass it on, and we'll more than likely never find out.  The person that you compliment today may do something kind five minutes later that he or she wouldn't have done without that pleasant memory so fresh in his or her mind.

Kindness is a world-changer.  It starts by changing our own individual worlds, and it spreads by adding light and hope and peace to the worlds of others.  Eventually, one day our entire planet may be full of people who are doing their best to be kind all the time, but who's to say?  I have influence only in my own world, so I'm not going to avoid being kind just because so many others neglect it.  My kindness is up to me, and it's one of my highest priorities in life.  And I'm very glad of that fact.

Questions to consider:

In what ways might you show and spread kindness today?

How do you feel when someone shows kindness to you?  Would you like to make others feel that way?

Why do so many people neglect kindness?  What keeps us from showing it?

For further thought:

Guard within yourself that treasure, kindness.  Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness; know how to replace in your heart, by the happiness of those you love, the happiness that may be wanting to yourself.

George Sand

more on kindness



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