We never know what’s going on for another person. We don’t know what they may be going through, where their life path has taken them, who or what has influenced them, or why they believe as they do. Really, it’s none of our business.
Our business is to love. When there are misunderstandings, we could take a breath and give each other the benefit of the doubt. After all, it isn’t personal. It never is. We are all doing the best that we can.
We could open our hearts to the other. The truth is, we have more in common than not. I’m certain of it. Let’s find the place of common ground. I promise you, it is there. It is not so far away as it may seem and kindness may be our best way to get there.
Yogananda says, “Kindness is the light that dissolves all walls between souls, families, and nations.” I believe it. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it.
We are quick to judge. I’m guilty as charged. It never feels good to me to judge. I feel bad even while feeling justified and sanctimonious, never good. Have you noticed that?
R.J. Palacio says, “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” Yes, I’ve experimented with this and I never regret being kind rather than right, though my ego may take a hit.
Publilius Syrus says, “You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.” Gandhi is an example of this. Jesus, too. There are others and I aspire to live my life this way though I have a long way to go.
I become disheartened when I see all the unkindness in the world, then I turn my gaze inward and see that it begins with me. If I wish to change the world, then I must start right here, with me and with those around me. As I learn to be kind to myself, my circle of kindness-influence begins to expand and expand and expand again.
We could experiment with this notion and see what happens. I do know that when I’ve chosen kindness rather than being right, over-reacting, judging, avoiding, or shutting down, I never regret it. And, sometimes, miracles occur.
“How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it!” George Elliston
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