Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Kindness Project: Words Create Emotion



Too often kindness is relegated to a random act performed only when we’re feeling good. But an even greater kindness (to ourselves and others) occurs when we reach out even when we aren't feeling entirely whole. It’s not easy, and no one is perfect. But we’ve decided it’s not impossible to brighten the world one smile, one kind word, one blog post at a time. To that end, a few of us writers have established The Kindness Project, starting with a series of inspirational posts.

I wasn't sure what to write this month. Then I found this poem: 

“Kindness

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 the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing
inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all 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 and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd 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.


Colombia”
― Naomi Shihab NyeWords Under the Words: Selected Poems

10 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That's an awesome poem, Lindsay. :D

Matthew MacNish said...

Lovely poem! Thanks, Lindsay.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Very nice! To be kind, we must know all other emotions.

Claire Hennessy said...

Gosh, what a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it.

Michele Shaw said...

Poetry lover here, so I really appreciated this. Thanks!

Laura Marcella said...

Beautiful poem, Lindsay. Thanks for sharing!

KatOwens: Insect Collector said...

Lovely, i think it's key to remember that the tough times make the good stuff sweeter.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

What a beautiful poem. It speaks volumes. Thank you for sharing it <3

Sara B. Larson said...

what a powerful poem. Thank you for sharing!

Heather said...

That's lovely, and so very true. The people and things we love can disappear in an instant, but if we've never lost then that is hard to understand.