It's been a while since I've written about peace and love and all that schmaltzy stuff, but I'm thinking it's about time. I just wanted to talk to you guys about kindness. And not the act of surface niceties or obligatory politeness. I mean kindness--warmth and thoughtfulness. Love-driven actions and words, even in the face of something or someone you disagree with or dislike. This is important. SO important. Why? Well, because look at the world we live in, right? Wars, violence, hatred, pain, unimaginable suffering... and yet how often do we hurt each other without significant cause? How often do we act out of smugness or judgment or knee-jerk egotism? A lot of the time, actually. It's part of the temptation that comes with being human. But I don't believe we are only human. I believe we're a remarkable deal more than that, and the proof is in our ability to empathize, to feel the pain of others. And not just when it's easy--not just when the target is pleasant or the subject agreeable. Kindness and compassion comes of humility, of knowing that you don't REALLY know, well, anything. You can't, because you've not walked a mile in Joe Shmo's shoes.
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~ Bonnie Jean Wasmund
Ooooh, now that is a weighty quote, my friends. People are going to remember you for how you made them feel--nothing else, because emotion strikes the strongest memory. How's that for a reality check to the ego?
Often, we're raised to be defensive to the point of seeking out targets to criticize so that we'll feel better about ourselves. We can all catch ourselves doing it, sometime or another, whether we want to admit it or not. Add to that the fact that we try to drag supporters into the whole mess and you have my least favorite of all human qualities, because it does not equal power. It does not equal character. It equals fear. Putting people down is a weakness, not a strength--and again, I don't care how justified your cause seems to you. We've all had enough of the guns and bombs and argument and pride and useless, useless life-wasters that do nothing to advance wisdom. I think we can all work a little harder to stop and think before letting a thought escape us that leaves a negative scar on our existence here. Sometimes I feel like, with the earth's problems as big as they are, we have no right to be anything but individually peaceful and kind as often as we can, and I picture this swell of pain in the center of us, and some of us keep pushing each other into that swell for no good reason other than the fear that we'll be pushed first. Don't do it, okay? Be good to each other. LOVE. I don't care what kind of hippie I sound like. I'm past the pride of that. Please love. That is the first and the only real thing that exists. The rest is an illusion.
Now, I'm off to write. You know how I feel about you.