Posts Tagged ‘kindness’


“It’s been a long day for you,” the angel said to me. It was only 7:45pm but this angel knew the length of my day was not truly measured in the minutes on the clock. “Yes,” I agreed. “And it is the third long day this week with two more likely ahead of me.”

He listened quietly and nodded his head. This angel was the driver of the hospital shuttle bus that had picked me up to drive me across the street to the parking garage I left at 8:30 am this morning. I was his sole rider going back, just as I was the only one on the morning shuttle, most unusual.

This ride was very short and I was burdened down with two carry bags and my purse. In the course of this short ride, he learned today was my 54th wedding anniversary date, and my husband lay in the hospital, possibly awaiting the insertion of a pacemaker for his tired, slow beating heart. The conversation dribbled on between the two of us – me telling him we came to Lexington the day after we were married for Tom had gotten his first job out of college at the IBM Corporation.

“Oh,” he said. “I wished I would have gone with them. I had a chance, but I stayed in printing a long time.” The only trouble is, he lamented, was that the pay was good, but there was no retirement for him at the end.

Well, I told him, I worked in public relations so I had many interactions with printers.  Our lives took many turns after Tom left IBM, and with Tom’s health challenges and our own financial limitations I hoped God had me somewhere in the Big Picture.

“Oh, that’s certain. You believe he does.”  Yes, I said, I do.

So much in such a short trip. An old man still making his way on earth. Me, still hanging with it. I know I thanked him and told him he was kind as I stepped down the loading ramp of the shuttle.

Afterward at home, I was, sitting tired in my lounge chair, heading for bed, I thought about him again. Either as man or angel, he is why I don’t believe what they are telling us about living in a hateful, spiteful world. I, myself, keep bumping up against kind and thoughtful people like this one encounter with a perfect stranger.

I wished I had said to him, “You are doing a very important job now. Thank you.”



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I believe it was the Dali Lama who said that kindness was his religion. On Sunday, the dismissal hymn was “And they’ll know we are Christian by our love, by our love. And they will know we are Christian by our love.”

Will they? It is up to our and how we choose to share ourselves in the world, a world so much in need of kindness.  Mother Teresa said, “Christ has no hands but ours.” I look to see what my hands are doing.

Pema Chodron is a favorite author and spiritual influence upon this Christian. Her Zen Buddhist way of life and teaching indeed teach me much. I particularly like her book, “When Things Fall Apart.” The title was a shoo-in for me when I ordered it off Amazon.com.  Things were pretty much falling apart for me at that time. I found it and my Christian prayers both to be way-showers for me.

“Be kinder to YOURSELF.  How frequently I need that reminder. For kindness cannot flood into my world when I an unkind toward myself.

“Her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.” That continues to be a guiding scripture for me. I am That I am.



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“Be kind whenever possible.
Hint: It is always possible.”
                           The Dalai Lama

Today, I was treated unkindly by three people in a business of which I have been a frequent customer. There was a time in the past, that I spent a fair amount of money at this nail salon business (which is a highly competitive business) receiving both pedicures and synthetic finger nail applications, colors and manicures.

Our family income has required the scaling back of this discretionary spending, so I have settled for getting a pedicure once in awhile because I have difficulty caring for my own and they do a good professional job. Then I do my own manicures, keeping my nails short and not requiring the expensive add-on nails from the salon. I occasionally treat myself to a manicure and polish which is not expensive.

Today, I went in for a re-polish of polish that had come off quickly from their service.  It was only a $5 expense for me (but I had spent $40 for toes & fingernails within this past week). Today, this was not enough of a service for them, and two of the employees plus the owner treated me gruffly as if they didn’t want to bother with me. It wasn’t enough of an expense to have them accept my debit card (they have a business charge on use, but they offer the convenience) so I had to pay cash.

Ok, enough on the situation. They were rude and unappreciative  to me for my business. They were unkind.

And I was unkind in manner and response to them. I left, mostly unattended, and knew I would not come back. They lost a customer.

But I lost the opportunity to be kind, in a situation where I could have been truthful… but kind….about how their treatment was affecting me.

I am thinking of this now because I am creating my living intentions (in mandala form) for the coming year of 2013 — my 70th year.

I have been fortunate enough to have studied with Janet Conner, author of Writing Down Your Soul and The Lotus and The Lily, the second one being a recently released book, and she is on cross-country tour with it.


I took her first course on-line when it was known as The Lily. It was a fabulous experience that was centered on the scripture, “See ye not the lilies of the field, they neither toil nor spin, yet God……” you know the rest probably….they are adorned in splendor and seem to lack nothing.

That was the promise or “manifestation” I wanted to co-create in my life at the time I took her course. There had been a financial upheaval and a new way required for us to live within some newly set narrow boundaries. Yet, I needed the reality to know, really know……that my life was and could be nothing less than prosperous.

I learned that Truth in so many important ways through Janet’s spiritual and worldly and historical teachings. I carry that learning in me today which is why I am thinking about kindness.

She, rightly, took the focus off our “I wants”, even though we had to name them and put them on the outer reaches of our mandala. What really mattered, it turned out to be, was our “inner conditions”….our list of commitments to how we intend to show up in life…..and then to live those, truly each and every day.

Oh there were a few little things to mind before the co-creations and manifestations of our wants. Like looking back and “seeing the gift” in perhaps the pains we have experienced. And there was that little matter of forgiveness…..the once and for all type of forgiveness, we had to apply to the people and circumstances in our lives, and then finally to….yes, ourselves.

After those little things were tended to, it seemed much more possible and even joyous and purposeful to live our life according to the conditions we set. And as that began to happen, the “I wants” began to suddenly or “at the right time” or even surprisingly appear too.  Just one of mine was financial stability and supply without end over the past two years since I entered this process. I am grateful.

Now, I am thinking about one BIG condition to enter into 2013 with: Being kind whenever possible, knowing that it is ALWAYS possible! Can I live that? Can I hold that as a core value and what wonderful transformations will occur within me when I try to live this path?

I think I am going to go for it. I can settle for a day at a time and then the whole year won’t look so daunting to me. My heart resonates with it, but my flaws are only too willing to take the stage.

In any event, I think I will let the 2013 curtain rise on this newly created play in my life. I know I’ve got the best support cast in the business. I’ll just go out there and take the Lead……in kindness.

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