Just Be Nice!

March 19, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.” Naomi Shihab Nye from, her poem Kindness

The older I get the more philosophical I seem to become. Wisdom, faith, and sensibility take over as supreme directives in my inner (and outer) life. However, like faith, philosophy that does not result in virtuous actions is dead.

The One Thing that Really Matters

And so I regularly ask myself, what is the ultimate purpose of my life? With a desire for simplicity in our complex world I have landed on The One Thing That Really Matters. Unsurprisingly, my conclusion is that love is the one thing that really matters. Even Jesus says that love sums up all the teachings of Scripture.

The tougher question that demands some kind of answer is “What is love?” “What does is look like and feel like?” After decades of careful thought on this subject I firmly believe that love in action is best demonstrated by Kindness. Kindness is indeed love in action.

How Kindness is “Love in Action”

In her weekly post, The Marginalian, Maria Popova writes extensively…

Nothing broadens the soul more than the touch of kindness, given or received, and nothing shrivels it more than a flinch of unkindness, given or received… Everyone loves the idea of kindness — loves thinking of themselves as a kind person — but somehow, the practice of it, the dailiness of it, has receded into the background of a [selfish] culture…

As Naomi Shihab Nye points out, the root of all kindness can be found in the degree of sorrow one has experienced. And you cannot be very human without experiencing sorrow and the more sorrow, the more empathy and with more empathy proceeds a need to both receive and give kindness to others.

Kindness: My One Primary Duty

In the last handful of years, kindness has become my primary daily duty. Do I fail? Yes. And far too commonly. But for the most part, I attempt to simply “Be Nice.” If only we, as a culture, take as our daily duty to “be nice,” what a different world we might live in.

One Simple Way to Change Your World

Be Nice!

Photo courtesy of PeopleImages at istockphoto

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