Sunday, April 4, 2010

Kindness: A Choiceless Choice

I wonder often why some folk are naturally kind while others haven't a clue as to the importance of respect for the people they encounter.

Wisdom teaches that the different paths, which we have experienced in by-gone days, affect our ability to be patient with others when stress arises.

Where love has tempered the past, kindness emerges in the face of personal duress. Where love was found lacking in one's earlier life, strife and envy often take over one's thinking.

In line at a hardware store, I listened to the conversation of a husband and wife. The fight was about whose turn it was to pick up the children after school. The venom exchanged between the two soon caused each to lose sight of the fact that the children needed a ride home, regardless.

Were the two not angry, had they let kindness rescue them, a healthy compromise could have been reached, regardless.

I discovered long ago that it is best not to delay a calm decision in the face of predicaments. I discovered that problem resolution came faster when I waited out irritations, toward which the predicament pushed me. I discovered that thoughtfulness, that patience, and that kindness was absolutely essential if another person was involved in the predicament.

What I'm suggesting is there is a need in every difficult moment to first have kindness toward ourselves and then toward others affected.

The question then arises as to whether kindness is a matter of choice, or one of responsibility.

If no stress can be eradicated without a cool head and a kind heart, why do we pretend that we have a choice about the matter?

Is kindness an option, or is it not? Certainly impatience, a mean spirit, or a lack of thoughtfulness are not the problem solvers we presumed them to be. What should we teach our children in this regard? What example must we set?

When the next generation can observe kindness operating in us when we face stresses, difficult peoples, or moments of distasteful situations, will not they get the hint?

And if they get the hint and begin living the choiceless existence of kindness, of thoughtfulness and of patience, will not the world and their future lives change for the better?

I am just asking, you see.

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