“Kindness is a language which the blind can see and the deaf can hear.” – African proverb
Once upon a time, a man slept and woke up on the other side of life. It was nothing strange, but nevertheless remarkable. Everything seemed to be floating in tranquillity. The songs of the birds sounded nicer and more meaningful. He could understand the words and even sense their emotions. He could feel the movement of plants as they responded to the songs of the birds. That was when he realised that a smile had carved itself on his face. The more he thought about it, the wider the smile got. And his heart was so warm the sun was actually sourcing its energy from him. Wow.
“Where is this place? Is this the afterlife; the place we all go after living on earth?” he asked. “This place gives me understanding. It is like the scales have fallen off my eyes and I can see clearly. The wax has melted out of my ears and I can really hear. This is beautiful. Someone please tell humanity that there is real life out here. Why do we have to get here before such understanding of living is revealed to us?” Those were the questions he asked himself.
“Well, you are having a view of life from the top. Therefore, it is easier for you to see the holistic connectedness of all life. What you are feeling is an appreciation of the magnificence, beauty and immensity of life. I can see you are thoroughly amazed. Unfortunately, while you lived on the other side of life you were so busy worrying about the perception of society on your ego that you forgot you were supposed to live and appreciate life.” That was the answer he got.
Humanity is blessed with all the goodness that it could ever imagine and more. Our duty is to hope in this goodness and witness it to make it credible to others. It is a daily adventure aimed at making our lives joyous. It looks like a complex set of behavioural obligations because we have not made efforts to simplify it. But this hope informs how we believe and exhibit this belief by the way we relate to one another and with the eco-system. Unfortunately, we have turned our possessions into a disillusioned passion that thrives on enhancing the ego.
We cannot wait till we enter the sphere of the afterlife before we appreciate life. It is time, and it is quite urgent, to rediscover the value of life. And there is no better way to do this than to be kind to one another. We have been so consumed with our egos we do realise that the virtue of kindness is almost extinct in our world. We have become arrogant and aggressive as we go about striving to grab a bigger portion of the cake. We think and act first about the satisfaction of our wants rather than about our neighbourliness. We have become insensitive in our relationships; we have become used to the expression of ugliness and vulgarity.
The time has come for us to help ourselves and others to find meaning in life. There is no point only smiling with sweetness and respect because of what we are going to get out of the moment. This is extinguishing the joy of our humanity. Life is bigger than these occasional moments. This vile heartlessness that our egos breed should be replaced with nature’s ointment of living – kindness.
Kindness is an indispensable tool that warms the heart to forgive, the mind to be courageous, the soul to be charitable and the senses to be affable. It fashions relationships and lifts our spirits to heights that are beyond our understanding. Its scent lingers around us for eternity. It is a manifestation of our reason for hope. The world would be a better place if we had more kindness in our thoughts, words and actions. Kindness reveals itself as being superior to every desire that we have. It is the essence of greatness, success and the fundamental characteristic of nobility.
We are connected to each other in every kind of way. It is not readily visible and so the bulk of us do not appreciate it. We therefore take living for granted. But wherever you find yourself, you leave a part of yourself there and take a part of the place or relationship with you. Your life is not just you, but you and the world. And so every thought, word or act that emanates from you comes back to you in ways you do not expect. As such, when you are unkind to the world you are being unkind to yourself. And when you are kind to the world, that kindness comes back to you.
Being kind may be simple and unspectacular. The results, however, are always significant and very dramatic. It nurtures trust, breeds hope, strengthens faith, resuscitates courtesy, accords respect, energises forgiveness, esteems humility, swells love and stimulates charity. Kindness generates fond feelings and admiration. It is a passport that opens doors and moulds relationships which breathe and live. It is that little ingredient we have overlooked in our search for happiness and joy. Now that we know, let us be kind to one another.
Kodwo Brumpon is a management consultant and a life coach who inspires individuals, groups and corporate bodies to think and feel that which is true, and helps them to positively respond to that which is beautiful while nudging them to let goodness govern their actions. Comments, suggestions and requests should be sent to him at firstname.lastname@example.org