Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the power of kindness

Rev Julie recently wrote an article on the power of kindness. she also included the following poem. i wanted to share a little of this with you. here are a few words Rev Julie wrote, then follows the poem....

" I share this poem with you as a reminder of the vital importance to remember to be kind every day. It is important to the survival of our communities and our world that we reclaim the power and importance of kindness.
Gentleness and sensitivity are not often spoken of in the media, in our schools or in our communities. In fact, it seems we have the impression that a kind heart ranks low in cultural desirability, well after a sound mind, a sharp wit, power over others and a fine sense of irony. We have been taught in recent times that we resort to kindness after everything else has failed, and yet it is kindness that can change a difficult situation into an opportunity to heal. Kindness creates smiles; kindness opens hearts and kindness changes both the one who gives and the one who receives...." -Rev Julie Interrante

Naomi Shihah Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a
white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest
thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes
sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters
and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head from the
crowd of the world to say,
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.


Julie said...

Pretty poem. Thanks for sharing.

Bea said...

I was browsing your website, Karen, and came across this entry with the poem about kindness... the words go deep. They cut to the core of human emotion, where kindness comes from. Before reading these words, I had not understood kindness with this depth of sorrow or this sense of loss. Powerful words, these. bea