Tag Archives: loving kindness

Murky Kindness. Loving Kindness.

Kindness is very precious indeed. Because I feel no need for others to be kind to me, I appreciate it more deeply now when I see it.

Loving kindness feels like a soft breeze or a gentle touch – a gift that takes nothing in return and moves onward. When received at a time of great despair, such kindness has an almost otherworldly quality. But, this kindness is very much of this world and can be offered by any of us at the right moment.

Timing is one of the most important aspects of our lives. When I see situations unfolding, I feel a distinct difference between the right and wrong time to act. To me, this looks like countless doors against a dark backdrop – some are closed, and some open and remain open for a time. The open doors are opportunities to act and interact. So, I watch and listen for these opportunities. I’ve learned the pointlessness of going after the “closed doors.” Where do I “see” these doors? Not in space. They are an analogy to how I feel and connect to life.

Recently, I’ve watched a number of videos pop up on social media showing someone offering something to a homeless person. It is not too difficult to tell that most of these videos are of the “murky kindness” variety – someone seeking to get “Likes” by appearing generous and kind to others. Such displays are not really about making an offering to another life, but more about getting more popular and monetizing popularity.

We get into murky waters when we attach demands to what we give to others. Then, unmet demands bring on resentment, bitterness, and disappointment: I did such a good thing. How dare people not appreciate me for what I gave? Many of our demands are unconscious, which makes it difficult for us to even recognize that we really want as much or more than we are giving. In truth, appreciating someone is challenging when there were strings attached or the gift crushed a fragile sense of self.

We also step into murky waters when we offer something to someone who doesn’t need it. We may want to help someone because it makes us feel good. We make assumptions about what a being needs and act on these assumptions without verifying that the need is real.

It requires sensitivity to recognize who does and does not need help from us. Because most people are here to build their own strength and awareness, they will openly refuse help or a “handout” – they won’t stay in shelters or halfway houses. Of course, addiction is also a factor. Unfortunately, some helpers are more needy than the ones they are helping, and they end up missing the mark with what they think they are giving.

Of course, some people genuinely do need help, and then we can reach out with heart first – then hand. Interstingly, people do not need help or kindness all of the time, but only in certain moments. On some level, we know that it is not up to any single individual to take permanent responsibility for every life that appears to lack something. Instead, we know that we need to help most people to help themselves as much as they are able. And yet, there are those who appear to drown themselves in giving or wishing they could give, while dreaming of what they can take in return.

For millennia, human life has been about some people having more than others. The ones who have little still depend on a neighbor, community, or strangers every day to help them live one day at a time. These people live with constant uncertainty. They may even forget to think about the next day. Poverty is a challenging life – I know it.

Why does poverty exist? Why is there an imbalance built into life where some have more than others? Why do some people have much more than they need? What is the right thing to do about it?

This setup deserves further study and a better understanding of where we fit in. Kindness is much more than giving things: it is more about seeing – truly seeing – a person for who they are. Loving kindness is a living presence and an honoring of our interconnection. Murky kindness is when objects are exchanged or given without connection and devotion.

Most people mean well and look for the right things to do. Often, the right thing requires a change in how we, as a society, assign value to individual lives. And a life that does not value itself will see that reflected back. No single individual is responsible for poverty and need, and no single individual can be a “solution.”

Kind leaders must set a strong tone for valuing life without sending contradicting messages. All people must make the time to show interest in the lives of others without intrusion. At some point, there will be greater balance in society as a whole so that life is honored at all levels. For now, we can wait for those open doors and forget ourselves while giving. Then, we must forget that we gave. That looks like loving kindness. There are no demands and no strings attached. There is no fear of deeply feeling another’s presence because we are not as separate as we believe.

We know we can’t give everything away and live. We know we can’t keep taking and honor the lives of others. Eventually, we will learn that kindness goes beyond helping someone’s survival or emotional strife, way beyond.

It’s Not Easy to Be Kind

Kindness is a complex enough act that it requires some context. During a genuine act of kindness, a being feels united with something greater than he or she previously imagined themselves to be. The spark of that union is sacred, and it is expressed in the moment as a gift. This gift is unconditional caring and a recognition of the Divine as another. In this moment the individual expression is at its peak, shining the union into tangible words or acts. Even the air is charged with this energy.

Kindness is not sacrifice in the sense that nothing is lost – full individuality is intact and purified in the moment of self-delusion. Kindness is a sacrifice in the original sense of the word – a moment is made sacred by a connection between the Divine and its individual sparks to exceed the sum of the parts.

As with any gesture, there are many levels of depth and consciousness with which that gesture can be made. Certainly, uttering a kind word to someone without making real connection to a seeming other is a start. However, this gesture can unfold deeper and broader into the more profound gesture of relationship, which transcends the superficial human-generated boundaries. A kind word can encapsulate Divine-inspired generosity of heart, and the heart can shine Loving-Kindness unbounded.

However, I’ve learned that there are many people who distrust kindness – and, perhaps, for good reason. In the tradition of doublespeak of our social structures, it is likely that people have appeared kind to disarm, betray, or take advatage of someone in a vulnerable moment. Many have been trained to avoid kindness because there are probably strings attached and debts accrued. Such a precious gift cannot be freely offered, can it? This is true, and one has to be streetsmart about reality. Not everyone will welcome kindness and many will avoid it as a snare.

Of course, the energy vampires will be glad to gain sympathy, empathy, and kindness as an opening to suck someone dry. The people who make you tired are probably feasting on you and are unprepared for the true exchange of kindness. In this case, you must see through and avoid or neutralize such traps.

Another possibility is when a recipient of kindness views it as a weakness on your part. Then, you have no choice but to be a bitch to that person because that is all that person can respect at this time. However, you can act like a bitch without feeling and identifying with the bitchiness. It is a necessary act to maintain balance.

In other words, it is likely that your genuine kindness will be thwarted, feared, avoided, or taken as an invitation to destroy you. Nonintuitive to an innocent, but true. Just try it – be a bitch to people who don’t respect you and see what happens – they may grumble at first, talk about how you’ve changed, but quickly settle in.

Nevertheless, there are those who are ready for you to be authentically kind. They will be your friends and companions on this journey. They will treat you with care and compassion, and you will be free to do the same. Such relationships are magical friendships, surpassing any #relationshipgoals. These connections ignite creativity, energize, and heal.

One would think that everyone would welcome kindness, but careful study of human dynamics proves otherwise.

During the dry spells of absent genuine human interaction, there is only a deepening of Divine connection and finding spontaneous creative expression in the sanctitude of your space. No dry spell lasts, but the connections you share down the road will be much more potent and profound. Never be anybody’s patsy – if you are giving up yourself to others to be torn apart (like a hyena kill), you are not respecting yourself and are incapable of being truly kind anyway.

Kindness offers what is needed in the moment, whether delicate flowers or hard boundaries. Take care never lose your innocence, even when the world demands it. It is the way, for now….