22 July 2010

On Kindness

I was quite sensitive as a child. I remember crying once while watching Tom and Jerry. Not only did I sympathize with Jerry the Mouse's constant struggle to foil the diabolical plans of Tom the Cat, but I also felt very compassionate towards Tom's suffering when he was unable to achieve his goal. I left the television to play outside because the show just seemed too cruel. Perhaps I was a bizarre child, but then I tend to believe that children generally are. It's what makes them fantastic.

Today I felt a little like that child again. I read several things on the internet that hurt my heart. They weren't especially cruel--no more than the typical joke at someone else's expense or a quick judgment offered out of frustration--but they struck me as decidedly unkind. Even though I didn't know the people involved, the comments made me feel sad. As I contemplated my sadness, I realized that I had been holding an unkind thought in my own mind. I opened my heart to compassion and let it go.

I searched online for some reading on kindness and found a new-to-me kindness quote that resonated deep within:

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
~Og Mandino

It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.
~Plato
And I decided that I just needed to share them.

4 comments:

Cynthia Wenslow said...

Kimberly, that reminds me of the Zen saying I've had on my fridge for most of my adult life.

"Before speaking consider: is it kind; is it true; is it necessary? Does it improve upon the silence?"

Used to drive my kids nuts when they were growing up and I would just point to it whenever they were squabbling!

Kimberly said...

Cynthia, I bet it did, but they probably have grown into pretty thoughtful and kind people! I like that one too. Especially the question of "Is it necessary?" It really leads you to pause and think about the other person you are speaking with.

Paula said...

Hi Kim, please email me at paula@artellaland.com, about a possible reprint of one of your blog entries in one of our membership eZines.

thanks!

Anonymous said...

Brought tears to my eyes....Mom