Being Kind

You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.”
The trees in your orchard say not, nor the flocks in your pastures.
They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
~Kahlil Gibran

The great and fierce mystic William Blake said, There is no greater act than putting another before you. This speaks to a selfless giving that seems to be at the base of meaningful love. Yet having struggled for a lifetime with letting the needs of others define me, I’ve come to understand that without the healthiest form of self-love, putting another before you can result in damaging self-sacrifice and endless codependence.

Somehow, in the course of learning to be good, we have all been asked to wrestle with a false dilemma: being kind to ourselves or being kind to others. In truth, though, being kind to ourselves is a prerequisite to being kind to others.

It is, I believe, as Mencius, the grandson of Confucius, says, that just as water unobstructed will flow downhill, we, given the chance to be what we are will extend ourselves in kindness. So, the real and lasting practice for each of us is to remove what obstructs us so that we can be who we are, holding nothing back. If we can work toward this kind of authenticity, then the living kindness – the water of compassion – will naturally flow. We do not need discipline to be kind, just an open heart.
~Mark Nepo
Excerpt from: The Book of Awakening

Advertisements

One thought on “Being Kind

  1. Pingback: Quote of the Day 28 January 2014 – Splinter | Marc Gilbert-Widmann

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s