Be KindNot merely because Henry James said there were but four rules of life— be kind be kind be kind be kind—but because it's good for the soul, and, what's more, for others, it may be that kindness is our best audition for a worthier world, and, despite the vagueness and uncertainty of its recompense, a bird may yet wander into a bush before our very houses, gratitude may not manifest itself in deeds entirely equal to our own, still there's weather arriving from every direction, the feasts of famine and feasts of plenty may yet prove to be one, so why not allow the little sacrificial squinches and squigulas to prevail? Why not inundate the particular world with minute particulars? Dust's certainly all our fate, so why not make it the happiest possible dust, a detritus of blessedness? Surely the hedgehog, furling and unfurling into its spiked little ball, knows something that, with gentle touch and unthreatening tone, can inure to our benefit, surely the wicked witches of our childhood have died and, from where they are buried, a great kindness has eclipsed their misdeeds. Yes, of course, in the end so much comes down to privilege and its various penumbras, but too much of our unruly animus has already been wasted on reprisals, too much of the unblessed air is filled with smoke from undignified fires. Oh friends, take whatever kindness you can find and be profligate in its expenditure: It will not drain your limited resources, I assure you, it will not leave you vulnerable and unfurled, with only your sweet little claws to defend yourselves, and your wet little noses, and your eyes to the ground, and your little feet.
I love this. Merry Christmas.ReplyDelete
Yes. And let us also be aware of the kindnesses directed our way because they are holy acts.ReplyDelete
I love the four rules of life. Yes, be kind. Merry Christmas!ReplyDelete
it is so easy to be kind that it should be our go to response.ReplyDelete
Amen! Bless you and yours at Christmas, Sabine, and all through the coming year. I always love these bits of wisdom you share.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this beautiful poem today, Sabine. When I clicked on the link to Michael Blumenthal, I was delighted to see that the photo of him made me think of my mother's brother, my Uncle John.ReplyDelete
Squinches and squigulas!
Thank you for this, Sabine. As a T-shirt I saw said, In a world in which we can be anything, be kind. Happy everything.ReplyDelete
Came back, wanted to read this again. Be kind be kind be kind be kind, even when, or maybe especially when, kindness is met with its opposite. After all, if it's too easy where's the credit?ReplyDelete
I love this and yes, be kind. A gentle reminder which I often need.ReplyDelete
Thank you. This is beautiful. As the Dalai Lama has said, "My religion is kindness."ReplyDelete
Poor old Hank. The London critics were far from kind to him when just that once he stepped outside his metier and opted for the stage. And the humiliation continued. In 2004 two (Count them!) established and competent authors - Colm Toíbín and David Lodge - brought out novels based HJ's Calvary in the theatre. But Hank outlived his critics and What Maisie Knew continues to be that very rare kind of masterpiece - it's short.ReplyDelete