Why Be Kind ?

From my friends Joel and Michelle Levey at Wisdom At Work.

From their email:

In America, drugs today begins the Memorial Day weekend.  As a country that has bombed as many as 54 countries since World War II, it is fitting that a holiday is set aside that invites us to reflect upon the horrors of war, the preciousness of freedom, those who died in service, all the untold civilian casualties, and those who live with the wounds of war.

 From our own work with the Green Berets we learned that in the war in SE Asia alone it is estimated that as many as twice as many men and women committed suicide when they returned from the war as died in combat….!

 May we individually and collectively dedicate ourselves to deepening our wisdom, compassion, kindness, and our capacity to recognize and befriend our inner enemies and to make peace and end war within us and between us

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 every where
like a shadow or a friend.”


“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.  We have guided missiles and misguided men.  Our hope for creative living lies in our ability to reestablish the spiritual needs of our lives in personal character and social justice.  Without this spiritual and moral reawakening we shall destroy ourselves in the misuse of our own instruments.”
–Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Today more and more people are realizing that the proper way to resolve differences is through dialogue, compromise, and negotiation, through human understanding and humility. This means that there may no longer be outright winners, but nor will there be total losers.”
–H.H. the Dalai Lama

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