Monday, April 8, 2013

"kindness matters..."

"In the end
only kindness matters.
I will get down on my knees,
and I will pray..."

Jewel's beautiful anthem, "Hands" has a profound effect on me. For over a decade, this line: 

"in the end, 
only kindness matters," 

has been a touchstone, time and again.

This week film reviewer, Roger Ebert, passed on. I found myself weeping when I heard the news. I love this man.  I trusted his filter.  I loved his courage, his generosity, his candor.

He could make me laugh one moment, and then leave me speechless the next.  He was a deeply spiritual man with a profound insights about humanity.  His statement on the importance of kindness -- in thought, word, and deed -- has been close to my heart since the first time I read it:

"Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.

To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."

I can't think of a more perfect way to sum up his contribution to the human collective.  I am so happy that Roger was "here" long enough to discover the power of this truth, live it, and share it with us by word and example.

For me, kindness is at the heart of The Golden Rule. Jesus is recorded as having urged:

"Whatsoever ye would 
that men should do to you,
do ye even so to them."

A "rule" which appears -- in some form -- in the doctrines and teachings of almost all major religions and philosophical movements.

There are so many issues facing the human family today. But when I look at each of them through the lens of kindness I am at peace. There is such serenity in making our life choices based on what is most kind. When facing questions like: Do I help a stranger, judge another person's personal choices, cast my vote in a particular direction?

For me, sifting those decisions through the filter of kindness always brings greater clarity and confidence. It has helped me to separate good judgment -- in how I think and act myself -- from judging others.

John Lennon once wrote,

"You may say that I'm a dreamer. 
But I'm not the only one..." 

Tonight I am grateful to know that I have had the privilege of living in this world at the same time as Roger Ebert.   A man whose politics could be summed up in one word, "kindness."

Because in the end, only kindness matters...

offered with Love,


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