September 15     

Today's quotation:

The development of loving kindness is a demanding practice that requires time.  However, see if you can cultivate some part of loving kindness toward yourself, other people in your life, and the natural world around you every day.  As we keep practicing, we begin to see beyond what is best for ourselves, or for other people, toward what is good for all life that is affected by our actions.  Loving kindness for all life on the earth is the ultimate result of the deepest understanding of the unity of life.

Claire Thompson

Mindfulness and the Natural World

Today's Meditation:

It's a bit disillusioning to see someone refer to loving kindness as a "practice that requires time."  There's a part of me that would like to believe that kindness comes naturally to people, that it's an instinctive attribute rather than one that we have to work at in order to develop.  I can see her point, though, for I know that very often I have to stop and think about what the kindest thing to do is in a certain situation.  Sometimes I have to force myself to perform the kind action instead of the one that I might want to do, especially if someone has just done something negative to me.

Cultivating kindness is a good way of putting it.  It's there in us, I'm sure, and it's up to us to work at helping it to grow by using it in positive ways as much as we can.  We can develop our loving kindness by practicing it and by keeping our eyes and hearts open to recognize those places where kindness is needed (and my hunch is that it's needed in many more places than we suspect).  Even if there isn't a compelling need for it in certain places or circumstances, it's a sure thing that loving kindness has positive results no matter when we show it.

More kindness on this planet would be a wonderful thing, but we seem to be living in an era when we're seeing less and less of it each day, unfortunately.  And what can we do about it, if no one else seems to be doing anything about it?  It's really quite simple of course-- though incredibly frustrating at the same time.  What we can do is be kind, and let go of any expectations of returns on our kindness-- even expectations of a thank-you.

It's not easy, but it's simple.  Others will try our patience and our tolerance, but we must still be kind to them.  Others will make us feel that we may be doing the wrong thing, but we must keep on doing what we know to be right.  And what's right is adding to the positive energy of this world through our kindness.  It may take some work and effort, but it will be worth it.

Questions to consider:

What would a world without kindness look like?  Feel like?

What are some of the positive results of kindness?

What specific kind things can you do today?

For further thought:

If we knew the power of kindness, we should transform this world into a paradise.

Charles Wagner

more thoughts and ideas on kindness



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