We are limited in what we think or hope for. We are limited in what we perceive as right and what we perceive as wrong. We are limited further in the action we take to our rightly pursuits, yet favour our ventures to destruction. It does not help us. But, what would it take to learn a simple thing? An act of kindness?
My strong feeling on this has been brought about by a documentary called ‘Audrie and Daisy‘. It is a story about two girls who were sexually assaulted at young ages. The movie in general dealt with what happens to them and their lives after this. As I watched it I kept hearing the little nuances that still cause harm. I started hating certain people in the movie and certain actions. They used words like ‘What did they expect?’ or ‘Sometimes its their fault.’ I realised that the message of the story would be lost on me if I let my anger boil. So, what if the world was fair? What if instead of attacking we learnt to care? What if we taught children from as young as four to be valiant protectors of others? What if we taught them not to hurt, not to scratch, not to torment and not to hate? And, more probable, what if we taught them an act of kindness.
Many great philosophers have taken time to teach us, understanding the value of this simple act. And I want to share it so that in small ways we do learn.
Plato said; “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.“
Aesop said; “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.“
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said; “We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.“
Lao Tzu said; “Kindness in words creates confidence, Kindness in thinking creates profoundness, Kindness in giving creates love.“
Lao Tzu said; “If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.”
Kahlil Gibran said; “To belittle, you have to be little.“
Dalai Lama said; “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is Kindness.“
Robert F. Kennedy said; “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Mahatma Gandhi said; “The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.“
I think its true. I believe that more can be done with kindness than with any other aspect we value in this world, even love. And while it may be impossible, like Kennedy said, to change the whole world and achieve greatness. It is not impossible to be kind. If you are thinking now of how you can achieve this kindness, then you are perfectly blessed with the ability to learn. But if you implement it regularly and put it to good action, then you are perfectly blessed with a chance for wisdom. An act of kindness is as simple as taking time to put yourself in another’s position. And even showing animals great kindness because they are blind to the structure of our world.
To Be Kind
You see the lines of sorrow and offer a smile.
You see the hope for a better future and offer an ear.
You see the tire from years and offer a hand.
You see the courage for tomorrow and offer your mind.
You see the pain of yesterday and offer a heart.
You see a broken spirit and offer to walk them the rest of the way home.
If we allowed ourselves to became kind by our slow determination to keep at it, then we can change the world. Think about how people would respond to one another if they were all shown this kindness by others. The boys and girls involved in terrible acts would have been protectors instead; without the need to hurt so they can feel. It starts with one person, like Mother Teresa, who was willing to stick to this ideal.
Because, as Albert Einstein said; “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”