Be kind, dear one, be kind.
If you can find it in your heart, be kind to one another, for everyone you meet–not just the downtrodden, not just the homeless, not just the friend dying from cancer–everyone you meet–faces some sort of anguish, some sort of fear, some sort of challenge.
Most of us humans experience those moments, or days, or perhaps years, of feeling some incompleteness, some sorrow. We’re not perfect. We shed tears. We make mistakes. We hunger. We thirst. We want. We don’t always get.
The person you glimpse on the street, the one you think has it “all together” does not. The person with riches, fame and wisdom may suffer from secret addiction, insecurity, pain.
Everyone, simply everyone, especially those whom our minds often judge as superior, wrong, stupid, evil, mistaken–yes, all of us–can perhaps flower under the sun of kindness, the sun of forgiveness, the sun of an encouraging word.
It’s been snowing hard here in the North Woods, during this endless season of long winter. Humans fret and fuss because it’s–so–darn–long, will it never end?–but the wild animals are dying now, truly suffering, their bones angled sharp against fur, their weakness evident as they stumble, as they stand hungry beside the roadside, too tired to run through deep snow, looking for branch-tips to nibble, hoping to stave off the specter of death and ravens.
When we returned from Florida last week we glimpsed a doe through the trees. She stood stock-still as another six inches of snow fell from the Wednesday sky. Eventually she lay down on a nearby hillside and slept, her warm body melting a hollow in the snow. She looked like a rock covered with snow.
We tossed vegetable and fruit scraps beneath the oak tree. The doe eagerly chewed and swallowed and dug with hooves for more. Come weekday, we’ll visit the seed and feed store across the bay and perhaps buy corn. It’s a small effort. Nothing big. But perhaps a large kindness for a pregnant deer that stands maybe one more snowstorms from death’s doorstep.
Perhaps you can’t tell with a single glimpse that she’s that close to falling and never rising again. Perhaps you can’t tell that the friend you see on-line is afraid, is weeping, feels anger, feels pain. Perhaps you can’t always tell when the fire of suffering burns beneath a smile, a laugh, the song of life.
A kind word, a kind action. A little effort beyond ourselves. That’s all the world is asking, really. That’s all this moment is asking. If we’re present, if we’re not lost in thoughts and worries of our own, perhaps our hands will reach out and feed each other. Perhaps we’ll hug one another. Perhaps we’ll move beyond our judgments and pain and simply reach out.
Because we all need it some time. Every one of us. You, and you, and you, too.
Perhaps we’ll find an orange carrot and toss it on the snow. Perhaps we’ll sprinkle yellow corn-seeds of hope. Perhaps new life will be born as kindness moves through us into the world… Perhaps a nourished deer might give birth to a sweet spotted fawn.
One never knows.