The Kindness Factor
I have to admit, lately the grief and suffering in the world has been overwhelming for me to comprehend, much less make any positive strides toward greater healing. Yes, I have known for a very long time that the suffering in the world will mirror my own, and so I have been on a journey of self-healing and Self-discovery, finding ways to make a positive difference in the world within and around me. And I can say without a shadow of doubt that it is working. I am happy, healthy, prosperous, abundant and free.
Yet, when I look at the world at large, it seems to be filled with the grief of war, suffering, starvation, racism, income inequality, division, hatred, destruction of the planet, and worst of all, complacency and denial. The last thing I want to do is gloss over the problems of humanity with some toxic positivity or spiritual bypass. I am here, as A Course in Miracles reminds us, to be truly helpful.
I have learned by deep experience that bypassing the emotions or situation in which I find myself will not be helpful, nor will sitting in a state of disempowerment and despair. There must be a way to reframe my reactions into loving, healing and helpful response. Oftentimes I turn to spiritual wisdom to help guide my response to the world, rather than attempt to bypass my emotions. One quote I read on a daily basis, which comes from ancient wisdom is this:
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now. Love Mercy now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” The Talmud.
In this simple statement, I am not only given some sound spiritual advice, but also three practical steps to take. Do justly now is the first one. To me, that means practice kindness now. Whatever is the right thing to do in any situation, what is just and helpful and kind; this is what we are called to do. What will bring the most healing and happiness in the present circumstance in which you find yourself?
Perhaps it is preparing a meal for a friend who is in need, volunteering to help seniors in your community, or simply taking the hand of the one next to you as they take the next uncertain step in their life. I can contribute financially to my spiritual community, send money or supplies to places of war and disaster. I can help feed the hungry and house the homeless. The opportunities to be kind and helpful to others are immense, all of which can be considered doing justly.
The second direction is to love mercy, to fall in love with service and give the mercy you have received in life. Some of the most dedicated volunteers I have met are the ones who at one time were in desperate need themselves. We are called not only to love or appreciate the mercy of God; but also to love giving that mercy to others as well.
The third step in this process is to walk humbly as you serve, to be not conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind as you serve others. The very act of service immediately transforms an individual from a seeming separate person into a being of awareness, one with all humanity. To walk humbly might actually be the prerequisite for the other two steps. As I humbly find my desire to give and extend kindness, I will find it natural to reach out my hand to help others.
Finally, it comes as a great comfort that we are not obligated to finish the work of healing humanity; but neither can we abandon it. Each small act of kindness sends ripples of healing energy and love throughout the universe and is felt by every living being whether they are aware of it or not. Mine is not to ask whether a person is worthy of my love, my job is simply to love them.
Be Blessed my friends and remember to be a blessing!