World Kindness Day is to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us1. Well, what do you think? Does kindness abound each and every day or has it been relegated to be remembered and celebrated like love on February 14th?
It seems more and more each day, there are fewer common threads left. Hell, we may all be on separate looms altogether at the rate we are going. Have we truly become sentinels, steadfastly guarding our hearts and minds with biased scrutiny? Each new idea or person that doesn’t look or think like us instantly vetted and deemed either worth our time or discarded? At least here in the U.S., it may not be that the threads are fewer. Rather, the patches we used to hold them together have worn bare.
I believe kindness does abound, each and every day. To recognize it, you must consider your narrative and more importantly, who controls it. Being no stranger to a wicked stepmother myself, my narrative from 9 years old through a great portion of my life was rife with her vitriol. If someone you consider an authority figure, especially a parental one, tells you often enough that you’re a worthless, unwanted fag then you see yourself as such.
This narrative becomes your litmus test. The more red the color, the closer to your truth and the louder it resounds your narrative. Kindness becomes foreign to you and all acts of it suspect to interrogation. To this day, I still sometimes initially want to pull away or become uncomfortable when someone tries to hug me. Someone touching me initiating a fight or flight response, because a touch means being hit.
In my late teens I met someone who helped me heal. Because of her, I learned love wasn’t something to be feared and someone reaching for you should signal help, not harm. I learned the power of one becoming their own orator, speaking their own truths while narrarating their own story. It was a profound change.
As this days dawn greets me, I openly accept and am comforted by the sun’s embrace. Recognizing this feeling is a gift of kindness to myself. If you struggle daily to find kindness in your life, listen to your story and make sure you’re telling it. Your sense of kindness may have become misplaced, but I assure you it isn’t entirely lost. To find it, start with being kind to yourself.