Kindness—that underrated under-recognized character trait, and probably today, in such times as these, a trait considered quaint, and even antiquated. I don’t see it that way. I know kindness, the experience of it and the endeavor to practice it, to be a radically political and spiritual matter.
We know how to behave, at least those of us who play in the fields of consciousness do, or perhaps more aptly put: those who claim or construe consciousness for themselves. On the whole, kindness might not seem like such a stretch as a concept or a practice, especially on the surface, where so much is so much easier to play at.
True kindness, however, has nothing to do with surface—it’s all about substance. Coming from deep within, an act of interiority radiating outward: not about self, all about other. Kindness requires transcending personal circumstances; being willing to jump from the truck of one’s own narrative into that of another. It’s not an easy leap. For in the breach, we leave behind the trappings of the tales that enable us; facades must fall; shields and subterfuge are surrendered; the constructs of self and self’s story are collapsed or at least suspended; ego is let go.
Then, there, exposed, in the new shape we take, what’s left to propel us is our integrity. Through the enactments that express our stake and claim about who we are, ethically, and how we bring that to life, we arrive at accountability to self, answering for what we believe and what we value in how we behave.
Kindness is a rigorous practice requiring the delicate balance of restraint without rigidity.