“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” --George Sand, 1870
It has been said, ‘a multitude of evil deeds can be consumed by a single act of genuine kindness.’ Like newly sprouted grasses and wildflowers cover the scars on hills sullied by fire, an act of kindness soothes the wounds of life. Kindness is truly a treasure. A kind person is a rare gem in an expanse of harsh, angry rocks. A kind act is a solitary, gentile giving hand in a sea of fists greedily grasping. Treasure hidden brings pleasure to none. Ah, to heed the words of the poet--give without hesitation...lose without regret...acquire without meanness! We would do well to weave these words into the fabric of our character, to program them into the software guiding our conduct. The treasure of kindness shared is treasure forever. But when it is hoarded, it is lost!
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.” --Albert Schweitzer
The ruthless clutch of “me-ism” and selfish ambition has clouded the eyes of society like a dense cold black fog. It seems that we are besieged from all sides by anger, callousness, and meanness in great measure. The spirit of innocence, goodness, gentleness and compassion has been trampled by the Orcs. Shadows of mankind are now twisted and corrupt. “Give me, give me, give me, give me…” drones their hideous chant. And in their wake, lay the fallen--the broken, wounded and hopeless souls who dared to, or unknowingly, stood in the path. Others have hidden themselves in their closets of indifference or fear. All the while, the march continues like a swarm of killer bees. Oh, how we need the rays of kindness to melt the glaciers of heart. It is time to stem the tide, to mount a counter attack; an indefensible assault of kindness. Constant kindness can accomplish much.
“That best portion of a good man's life: His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” --William Wordsworth
Perched firmly before the mirror, eyes intensely fixed on the form; yet, do we really see with clarity and truth the person under gaze. What is the measure of one’s life? What is the benchmark for your life? We can seek the grandiose, the grandstand, the gratification of glory, in full view or in secret. But to what end? Indeed, is it not a cruel ruse, a subtle deception that deludes our minds like a drug? A moment in the sun turned into a forgotten vapor. It is a mirage on hot pavement that lures the next intoxicated victim into the trap. The applause of man is no judge of a person’s character. It is the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. Kindness is a gateway into the heart of despair, a road to joyous adventure and an unseen, but felt, monument to goodness.
“The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time, have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.” --Albert Einstein
Dr. Einstein is considered by many to be one of, if not the most, brilliant people of our era. His theories, mathematical equations, physics constructs and research have profoundly and indelibly changed the world we know today. Imagine how much greater would be the depth of his influence on the condition of mankind had we equally and vigorously embraced this simple precept of life. Foolish people we can be, chasing shadows while ignoring treasures. Let us unlock this great prize hidden in our hearts. Let us ignite the beacon to guide us down a better path. Let us discard the contemptible and pursue that which has real value. Let kindness and love comfort and convert hardened hearts – including our own!
I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone within and outside of Family Care Network who showed kindness to the children, youth and families we serve. May you receive greater treasure this holiday season and the year to follow.