For our Metaphysical and Spirituality Book club I have been reading a book called The community of kindness by Rabbi Harold Kushner, who is author of a book many people have heard of called When Bad Things Happen to Good People. It is one of those books that is small in size, but large in understanding. While I am not done with the book yet, I have been struck by a very loving and gentle reminder that kindness builds community.
Sometimes kindness is simple. It is about saying I am sorry or thank you or you’re welcome. So let me being this week by seeking kindness as I apologize for not writing last week and not letting you know I would not be writing last week. That was not kind of me and so I am seeking your forgiveness. I was being kind to myself by allowing myself to focus on the piles of grading I had before me, but in doing so I had forgotten to practice kindness with this community and let you know I was taking a week off. I hope you will find it in your hearts to forgive me.
I am mindful that we have readers of this blog all over the world, which continues to humble me and reminds me to give thanks for technology. Kushner reminds us, in his book, that kindness is a universal language. It does not matter where in the world we live or what language or dialect we speak, we all understand the language of kindness. It like food transcends barriers and builds community.
Isn’t that something we all search for in our lives, a sense of community? Isn’t that something we all desire is to be in groups of people where we feel loved, welcomed, supported and encouraged. Kindness is the practice through which we open the doors and welcome someone into those spaces we have found in our lives.
Life can create wounds which harden our heart and cause us to become insensitive, untrusting, and unwilling to work through things. Sometimes we allow the external pressures to affect us and diminish our ability to be kind. I know this has happened to me and there have been, and sometimes still are, moments when I do not respond as kindly or as empathetically as I can. These moments remind me that I must continue to work on my own spiritual gifts and balance especially during stressful times.
Just as kindness is a universal language, so is unkindness. Kindness trumps everything. Sometimes we need to be more intentional about speaking this language then others. May we continue to practice weaving kindness into our daily lives and on those occasions when we fail, be kind and forgive yourself and seek forgiveness from others.