So my last post was a bit abrupt… After being away, AGAIN, for over a month, there should have been some, you know, light chat maybe, maybe a kiss on the cheek and a 'How have you been? You've been well? Good! And the kids? How are they? How's work? Nice, nice, I'm so pleased to bump into you!'
And we would have smiled and been so glad to see each other. And then you might have asked me How I Was Feeling, and you might have asked, "Are you Okay?"
Would I have been honest?
Would I have said, "Well…some days have been glorious. Other days … have felt raw, like each pore hurt."
Would I have said, "Some days I've felt that the world's ugliness is too ugly. Some days I've thought, I can't live like this! All the unkindness. It's impossible to bear."
Would I have said, "Some days it's like I carry the hurt of all the others. I feel so much, too much, for the animals, the trees, the children, the ocean, the innocent, the war-torn, and the lost. I think about them at night, when I wake and through the day… and it's like their voices are clattering inside, calling out. But their voices are my voice too, and it's my confusion, my hurt, my sorrow too, because I can't explain all the ugliness to my kids; I can't explain it even to myself. I can't make it okay.
Those days are harder than others."
Would you have been a bit lost for words?
But then I would have smiled and said, "Every single day though, literally every single day, I have laughed."
And I would have said, "Every single day, every second of my days, is filled with love."
And I would say, "I feel so grateful for that."
And then I would tell you something pure and personal.
"Every single day," I would say, "begins and ends with one goal: Be Kind. Be the Kindest, most compassionate person I can be."
Well, you might laugh a little then, because in that moment I would totally sound like a Hallmark card.
(And I'd laugh too, because I always laugh when other people laugh, and even when they don't. I do a lot of laughing, actually, and a lot of smiling in between.)
And you might say, "Every day? Seriously? No-one's that perfect!" and secretly you might have thought, 'Dude. Who can be kind every day? I mean, everyone's got to crack at some point.'
I'd say, "I'm not saying I'm perfect—I totally mess up sometimes. But I catch myself, sometimes even before I mess up. Those are nice moments—choosing the kinder path as it shows itself. And I say sorry, a lot more than I used to."
I would keep talking then, because I'd be getting on a roll. And I would hope you were listening still, because I'd be sharing what I care about the most.
"Kindness…it's everything; it's my daily, simple goal. It's the core of who I am and want to be. It's not even that hard, once you start—my kids are kind almost 100 percent of the time, and they do it instinctively. And they're not even boring—all that kindness and compassion and they're still really interesting, funny people."
And then I'd get this wild, hopeful light in my eyes. I'd lean forward intently and say this:
"Imagine. What if every day, people thought, "Hey.…What is the kindest, most thoughtful thing I could do today? What if they then went and did it—imagine how beautiful the world could be."
I'd say, "Imagine a world where kindness always won. What if instead of hurting, we stopped and thought, How would that feel, if this hurtful act or cruel word was said or done to me? What if we lived as though we were the Other? What if we spent our time looking out instead of looking in?"
And I would confess, "I know I'm not perfect. There is no perfect. I think of me often, just like everyone else. I want to publish my novel. I want to ride my bike and go to the movies and get a foot massage and not have to make dinner some nights. I want to be loved.
But I also want to be MORE.
I want to love back.
I want to be of service. I want to speak out against ugliness. I want to Be Kind today and all days.
I want to put Kindness in a dropper, with all the others who seek to be kind; I want to plant it drip by sweet drip on the plants and in the sea and on the sidewalks where it will spread out in great ripples. The kindness would be impossible to miss then, because there'd be so many of us, smiling and hopeful, droppers in hand, spreading love.
Imagine that. Just imagine that." I would say.
At least, that's what I hope I would say, if I was standing there in front of you,
and you asked me How I Was.