Before you know what kindness really is
You must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between regions and kindness.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you
must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters or produce bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crown of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
~Naomi Shihab Nye
**I have taken some small creative licensing by editing this poem; removing a few lines here and there to make it more relevant to my personal life experience**