In this season of celebration for many different religions, one of the anchoring tenants each wisdom tradition holds is acting with kindness toward our fellow humans and all living creatures. Exercising compassion can alleviate our feelings of isolation, solve many problems, and open our hearts to genuine connection to others and the world around us.
As I reached mid-life, showing kindness has become the guiding principle for how I want to live my life each day. This was not always the case. For decades, I chose being right as my number one value. You can imagine how well that often turned out ;-0 For the Baby Boomer generation, and since all time before computers, knowledge was power. We drew our strength and our feelings of acceptance by how much we knew, and like many of us, I wanted everyone to know how much I knew. I am most grateful the old cliché has proven true in my case: With age comes wisdom. Somewhere along the way, wisdom, like a cloak of superior intelligence, enveloped me and I woke up: kindness is where it is at, it’s what wise people practice, what brings one peace. It is the ace that produces a winning hand, every time. Practicing kindness enables me to get out of my head and into my heart, and adopt an attitude of benevolence toward the world and even more importantly, toward myself.
This last step is about gaining wisdom, by reaching an age to look back on the effects my harsher behavior of youth had on myself and others, and then being aware, for having lived long enough to know there is a better way. Learning the values of other religions and their wise traditions opened my eyes to this truth, and from there my life has soared. Kindness elevates the conversation by shifting everyone’s perspective and allowing light to shine into a darkened heart. Kindness is the answer, now more than ever, as so many are suffering around the world.
In this season of celebrations, on the cusp of a New Year, I celebrate this hard-earned wisdom I acquired. I am so grateful that I now understand—a little later than sooner– but in plenty of time for me to share it all around.
Until next time… Be Vibrant!