Friday, February 5, 2010

Be Kind

The other night I was talking to a friend about fun, gossipy, drama-filled things, and I got a little carried away. I suddenly realized after one of my friend's responses that I had been saying things about people that I really liked that I didn't really mean or want to say about them, just because I was enjoying the thrill of the drama. I felt stupid and humbled and wished I could take back what I said and replace it with only the good things I see in these people.


That was when I started thinking about this song by David Wilcox. Dave tends to get a little cheesy sometimes, but in spite of it, he always feels very sincere and true to me. (I think the word that could best be applied to his music is "earnest.") Anyway, he has a song called "Kindness" (see a live performance on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSlMAdFe4BY) that I've always kind of liked, either despite or because of this earnestness. Here are a couple of stanzas:


I love your sense of humor
I love to see you smile
I love your sense of balance
I love your sense of time
I love your music in the morning
Your rhythm in the night
But it's your kindness
That shines so bright . . .
Yes I love your wisdom
Your knowledge of the past
Your willingness to listen
And taste for what will last
Your compassion for the suffering
And your solid happiness
But it's your kindness that I love best


I think the thing I love about this is the way it goes through so many qualities that I love - in others, in myself - and then tops them all with kindness and compassion. Is there any better testament to what makes you lovely than that? Yes, your sense of humor, your intelligence, your education, your wisdom and all of those things you love make you lovely, but it's kindness that makes the biggest impact on the people around you.

2 comments:

Journey to Peace said...

Hi Ladies!
I'm a new follower -I stumbled upon your blog one day when I had just started my own. I wanted to say that I find your posts introspective and encouraging!

It's often very hard to just be "me" when you get caught up in the whirl-wind of life, especially when our friends go with us.

Miri said...

Welcome! We're glad you found us. :)

It does sound cheesy, but kindness is a truly important thing that I don't think is valued very much by our society. Sarcasm is our favorite form of humor, and kindness is often viewed as weakness (or cheesiness!) or not having a sense of humor (if, say, you don't support a joke at someone else's expense).

I don't know what it is about people--or maybe this is something women are more susceptible to than men?--that makes us feel exactly what you described: a desire to feel the thrill of the drama, that makes us do and say things we regret later, and don't even really mean as we're saying them. I think it comes from our desire to feel included. I find myself struggling against this sometimes and it is not a very nice feeling when I think about what I'm doing.