So, how has kindness inspired us this week? This week we explored “what if” questions of how we ought to live.
We asked, what if something came from nothing? It is a big question that has no answer. When we try to unravel this profound puzzle, we are forced to look back and see how far we come. We should feel large because of our accomplishments, but we should never forget how small we are when we gaze upon the stars. It puts in perspective the stresses we let ourselves feel from things out of our control…we squander so much time on what does not affect us. We should all stop wasting this tremendous gift and realize something can come from nothing…kindness from us, to share with this tiny pale blue dot we call home.
We asked, what if we were good? We talked about how we fool ourselves into believing the world is a cruel place. Even worse, it is foolish to be kind because cruel people take advantage of kind people. We learned kindness is not a liability, as it gives us strong qualities, and it gives us a power so great no one can take anything away from us…”your respect, your dignity, your honor, your fulfillment, your self-worth, your purpose, is owned entirely by you, indivisible and inseparable from your identity, and cannot be altered with or distorted by anyone unless you let them…You alone decide how others affect you.”
We asked, what if we were wise? We examined our judgments, and the power of mindfulness in our opinions. How we reflect on our experiences weighted by our values has the power to create negative, and even destructive forces within us. If we birth these forces we create prejudice…and barriers…and an “us verse them” world. We discussed how we become what we think and the energy we harbor that drives our behavior. We also explored if it is possible to observe without judgment. This is not the prevention of negative energy or the encouragement of positive energy. It is simply the flow of energy.
We asked, what if we lived forever? Time is our most precious commodity, yet we show so little patience, with others and ourselves. We become ignorant and indifferent, leading us to unkind and cruel acts…all because we do not have the time. But if we did have the time would we all slow down and enjoy the moment? Or would we still race and compete and hurt each other to get what we want? We also explored meditation techniques to enhance our awareness of the moment. And we reasoned how our self-imposed stress drives us to lose sight of that.
Lastly, we asked, what if we were fearless? We remembered when we were young and how we did not hesitate to risk being vulnerable when faced with a new experience. This was because pain had yet to teach us the meaning of fear. But we often learn pain’s lesson incorrectly because we believe we must avoid it. That is not true, because risking pain allows us to grow. It should not be a deterrent, but empowerment. But what if we could go back to a time when we were fearless? When we were not afraid to be foolish, and our imagination let us become anything we wanted. If we were fearless, and knew of harm, but chose to believe the world is a beautiful place…would there still be cruelty?
And I will conclude our last ritual of kindness with closing thoughts…many may or may not believe in the existence of karma…the sum of a person’s positive and negative deeds in their past and current lives. The outstanding balance will predicate the positive or negative events that will happen to that person. It is a spiritual life force that balances positive and negative energy, guaranteeing every action has an equal opposite reaction. But ultimately it is a flow of energy. I am not asking you to believe in karma, but do acknowledge that, rationally and scientifically, energy exists, along with positive and negative forces.
And in the end this is what we all are…flowing energy…that has come from nothing. We should all have the goodness, wisdom, and fearlessness to acknowledge this energy lives forever. Treat yourself and others kindly.