Life itself is extraordinary! Yet, daily we don’t usually pay that much attention to this fact. So now we find ourselves declaring, how extraordinary times are when they’ve been that way all along. What we’ve collectively managed to forget is what it means to be human on this planet. Religion’s purpose is to help us understand just how extraordinary we are. Correspondingly, it introduces us to our collective humanity and gives us ways of being that leads us to happiness, joy, and peace of mind. Freedom!
I want to explore with you one of the graces, all religions speak of, in one way or another, to remind us of our responsibility to one another, kindness.
What dawned on me with the COVID-19 pandemic, is that we have been in this state of lock down before the governments imposed it. Much of the people of this world have lived under the constant threat of violence – heightened since 9/11. Many of us have been living under a state of emergency for years now. In like manner, this culture of fear, causes us to loose our most unique human qualities. As such, the one that stands out to me the most is our KINDNESS.
Kindness is an act that has the power to transform human relations completely. Kindness, as defined in the dictionary, is a quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. I believe, as a way of being, this virtue would have us experience this pandemic in a very different way. Kindness is a powerful expression of love that makes miracles happen. The real miracle, though, is the love that it inspires. It is something that brings joy and happiness to ourselves and others, yet we forget it so often. Now there’s a distinction I need to make. I’m not referring to the act of being kind. I am referring to the BEING inside the act. The “beingness” informs the movement.
Being that we solely define kindness as the act of being kind, people who believe they have nothing to give won’t feel that they have anything to offer. Kindness as a way of being, a place to come from,gives every single human the capacity for kindness. When I say this, I think of the acts of stopping at red lights (being considerate), not spitting on the ground or not using the side of a building as a bathroom, or something as simple as ending a conversation with the acknowledgement “good-bye”. It’s those small acts which express our willingness and aptitude to being kind.
The thing about disasters is they spur significant expression of kindness in folks. In reality this expression should be a natural habit. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has spurred fear, which can take away our ability to be kind. This has been evidenced with how we have treated people who show signs of illness. Usually, fear interrupts our humanity and our ability to express love with kindness. But at this time, I encourage everyone to pay close attention to this virtue.
The teachings we uphold manifest through our character and our behaviour. It is an act of faith and love to BE KIND. Carve out your destiny through your own will and action. We are the source of our happiness and unhappiness. We have the power to decide our future, by simply being willing to show kindness.