I need to write about kindness. I’m the type of individual that often needs to be reminded to be kind.
Some people that I know are hard-wired for kindness in any situation. My dear housemate, Heather, comes to mind, as well as our friend Kerry. Unflappably kind.
Since I arrived in the United States a couple of weeks ago, I’ve noticed there are not a lot of kind words happening in the political arena. This is not news to anyone who listens to broadcasts or reads the papers, no matter what country you’re in. But, I must say I wasn’t expecting the level of divisiveness between ‘progressives’ and conservatives. Between neighbours. Between work colleagues. Between members of families.
I have my own opinions for sure, but I find myself hesitating to throw them into heated discussions. I don’t mean to be judgmental or nihilistic. It’s just that when I hear a certain tone of voice sounding like indignation coming from either side of the political divide, it turns me off. Indignation is an interesting emotion if we can call it that. It puffs people up, makes them self-righteous and angry. Nobody is going to listen to the other side in this sort of climate, so how is there ever going to be any rapprochement?
I don’t have any solutions, only observations. Imagine if the above acronym, T.H.I.N.K., was employed by our politicians and their constituents, also. There might be some healing happening on both sides. Maybe even those legislative logjams would break loose.
We yogis can do our bit to create more connection in the world every time we get on our yoga mats or cushions. We can breathe in kindness and breathe out rancour. We can be kind to our bodies in our asana practice. We can practice loving kindness in our meditations. When we join hands in prayer position, we can make that gesture mean it, that is, I see the divinity in me and you, too.
We can do as the Dalai Lama does.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.