Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kindness Eclipses Fear




There have been so many moments lately where I've felt fear. (In looking back through my posts, I wrote about this very topic two years ago.) Lately, my fear is for our country, our world.  Turn on the news, any channel and the drama and extreme points of view create fear in me. The political climate of our country creates fear in me. I almost didn't write this morning, because of fear of what to write.

Enough.

What's the cure for my fear? Kindness. When I use the word kindness, I'm using Merriam Webster's definition, "the quality or state of being kind". Kindness is listening. Kindness is standing up for my beliefs. My beliefs are simple: everyone has a story that's valuable and deserves respect. 

I don't care what your political affiliation is,
I care that you want the best for every person in the world and you will fight for it, in your way. I'm reminded of these words from Oriah Mountain Dreamer's poem, "The Invitation"...


It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know 
if you will risk 
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream

for the adventure of being alive.



I am afraid.
I see more fear, more anger, more blame.
I worry and wonder what can I do?

Be kind.
Show kindness.
Speak up and share my story.
Listen, really listen, to the story of others.

Could we all promise to do that a little bit more?

Listen.
Understand.
Remember that everyone has a story.
Hold onto those we love and open our hearts to those we don't.

Once in college, I was accused of being "Pollyanna-ish". I get that. I hear that...but if that's what I still am, I think, our world may need more Pollyannas. Join me.

I'm here.
Listening...

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11 comments:

  1. You are NOT alone in these thoughts this week. Many are worried, unsure of the future' kindness is something we CAN do!

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  2. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and concerns and your nudges for kindness. What a great way to start my day!

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  3. Lovely! And thank you for this poem! Kindness is the answer to so many things.

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  4. I agree! Love conquers hate and kindness defeats fear. I've seen this in how a smile will change some of the most sour faces. Thank you for the encouraging words!

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  5. I love your reminder to be kind and LISTEN to others. But what about all the people who won't listen? We can try kindness on them, and listening....also, to capture those who fear through their overactive imaginations? An idea from "How to Cure a Fanatic" by Amos Oz.

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  6. Many of us are with you, Michelle, and kindness is so important while looking ahead. Thanks for the poem's lines.

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  7. I am right there with you. I think if we model kindness, in all the ways you mention above, we can be the candle that leads others into this uncertain future.

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  8. I appreciate your writing and sharing your fear. I do think there is power in kindness and am ever more convinced that each of us needs to do what we can do, although that may seem a drop in a bucket. Those drops add up. Thank you for standing strong in the face of your fear and striving to make a difference.

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  9. I'm right there with you, and that's why I chose the word "anyway" this year. Kindness anyway. Love anyway. It's all we can do, right? And if there are enough Pollyannas changing the world in our own little ways, we might still have a chance to make something big happen!

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  10. Yes...you never know who needs you to listen, to be kind...I wrote about the same idea today (at newtreemom), though it came to me in a very different way. But your starting point, it is familiar to me, too, as I try to process all that is happening in our country right now.

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  11. Michelle, keep up the good fight-bring kindness into the world. See life through rose-colored glasses is a good thing.

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