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Posts from the ‘Kindness’ Category

Ministry of Presence

“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”― Rumi

“We are called at certain moments to comfort people who are enduring some trauma. Many of us don’t know how to react in such situations, but others do. In the first place, they just show up. They provide a ministry of presence. Next, they don’t compare. The sensitive person understands that each person’s ordeal is unique and should not be compared to anyone else’s. Next, they do the practical things–making lunch, dusting the room, washing the towels. Finally, they don’t try to minimize what is going on. They don’t attempt to reassure with false, saccharine sentiments. They don’t say that the pain is all for the best. They don’t search for silver linings. They do what wise souls do in the presence of tragedy and trauma. They practice a passive activism. They don’t bustle about trying to solve something that cannot be solved. The sensitive person grants the sufferer the dignity of her own process. She lets the sufferer define the meaning of what is going on. She just sits simply through the nights of pain and darkness, being practical, human, simple, and direct.”― David Brooks, The Road to Character

Show up.
Be present for others.
Reach out to those struggling.
Go beyond self to connection.
Nothing to say or do.
A ministry of presence.
Acts of love.
That’s your purpose, our purpose.
To be human and spread it.
A kindness pandemic.
One we never want to recover from.
A lamp, a lifeboat, a ladder.
A generosity of spirit in action.
A lighthouse moving into the world.

“Recovering from suffering is not like recovering from a disease. Many people don’t come out healed; they come out different.”― David Brooks, The Road to Character

Ray of Sunshine

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”― Kahlil Gibran

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”― Henry James

Be a ray of sunshine.
It brightens not only your path but spills into the world.
Kindness creates connection, belonging.
In giving, we are the receiver.
Kindness. Generosity. Light.
Cast the net wide.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”― Anne Frank

The Connections We Make

“The connections we make in the course of a life–maybe that’s what heaven is.”― Fred Rogers

“There are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind.
The second way is to be kind.
The third way is to be kind.”― Fred Rogers

May kindness be the path you walk today.
With enthusiasm, with anticipation, with appreciation.
Saying “hi” to a neighbor.
Stopping to share a moment or two of connection.
The holy, sacred ground of love.
Give and receive, like breathing.
In and out.
Ebb and flow.
Yin and yang.
And all of it inbetween.

“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing–that when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.”― Fred Rogers

Are You Having a Good Day?

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”― Mark Twain

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”― Henry James

Two days of snow is making for good sledding and fort building conditions. On a walk with the girls last night with the snow softly falling, a boy was climbing his new snow hill in his front yard to slide. Up and down and back again. As we passed by, he stopped at the top, looked at me and asked “are you having a good day?” I said I yes and it looked like he was having a good one too. He made a good day even better.

A simple question from a boy to check on another. Pretty profound. A sense of other, of interest, of kindness. Are you having a good day? Get out of your own head and take interest in others. Connect, ask and wait for the answer. And certainly do not forget to do something fun with the piles of snow or sand, depending where you live. Divide the joy, get the full value.

Are you going to make it a good day so you can answer “Yes!” to the question? Extend a kindness to another to double the joy.

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Light and Love

“When angels speak of love they tell us it is only by loving that we enter an earthly paradise. They tell us paradise is our home and love our true destiny.”― bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions

“Find out what makes you kinder, what opens you up and brings out the most loving, generous, and unafraid version of you—and go after those things as if nothing else matters. Because, actually, nothing else does.”― Nick Offerman, Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers

Be kind.
Be gentle.
Be present.
Listen.
Ask.
Really listen.
We are on this journey together.
Love is the instruction manual, the map, the destination.
Give and receive.
Self and other.
Be light and love.

“Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.”― Elizabeth Gilbert

Make Things Better

“Divine reality is not way up in the sky somewhere; it is readily available in the encounters of everyday life, which make hash of my illusions that I can control the ways God comes to me.” – Barbara Brown Taylor

“Every human interaction offers you the chance to make things better or to make things worse.”— Barbara Brown Taylor

In each interaction today with friend, foe or stranger, make things better.
Put aside judgment, quick conclusions, being “right” about everything.
Open to the possibility, abundance and light that is borne of love.
Spring yourself and others from the prison of your limited thoughts and unforgiving ways.
Freedom to be human and allow others to be as well.
Our best selves to heal, bind, unite.
Kindness, generosity, love.
Unwarranted, unearned, undeserved.
No strings attached.
Hard necessary work.

“The hardest spiritual work in the world is to love the neighbor as the self – to encounter another human being not as someone you can use, change, fix, help, save, enroll, convince or control, but simply as someone who can spring you from the prison of yourself, if you will allow it.”— Barbara Brown Taylor

2-2-22

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

On this day of “2”s – second month, second day, twenty second year – may we be prompted to move out of self into other. To the collective, to us. Expand, seek, reach out, connect with others. Partake on this shared journey, knowing that we are not alone, present for others, listening, walking along side in companionship.

When we cast light, the light shines back on us twofold. Compounding, multiplying, exponential. Go out of self and see other people. Tell them you see them with a smile, a hello, an invitation to go ahead in line, an embrace, a prayer for their well-being.

Kindness, concern, empathy, laughter, joy, understanding open our hearts, expose our souls, extend our hands to a wide world that needs our attention and love, one person at a time.

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa

Kindness Spreader

“Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what preserve the heart and secure comfort.” – Humphry Davy

May you carry kindness, spreading it frivolously everywhere.
Without account or delay.
May you know kindness.
Without measure or limit.
May you empty your kindness bucket daily, filled in the process.
Without prompting or hesitation.
Rooted, budding, blooming, fragrant and beautiful.
From roots to shoots.
Like a shadow or friend.
A super-spreader that heals, binds, connects.

KINDNESS

By Naomi Shihab Nye

“Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.”

Show More, Tell Less

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson

Go change the world.
Through kindness, generosity, optimism, awe, hope, joy, love, laughter, delight, song, dance.
Feed the flame.
Let the noise and clanging of opinion, assumption, armchair quarterbacking, criticism float by, dissipating from lack of oxygen.
Actions over empty words.
Give. Receive. Give again.
Go change the world.

“Kindness is more than a virtue. It is a source of strength.” – Vivek Murthy

Plant Kindness, Harvest Love

“May my soul bloom in love for all existence.” – Rudolf Steiner

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu

Learn a second language.
Use it daily.
Kindness.
Master it through practice.
Become proficient.
From me to we.
Plant it wherever you go without reserve or account.
Cast light daily and it shines back on you.
Circular, encompassing, full bloom.

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” – Matthew 25:35

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