“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”
— Mother Teresa
I read this short article on kindness, by Henrette Lazaridis Power, describing a simple act of kindness; an exchange between a man and boy, without fanfare, without flash, the former expressing concern for the latter and the appreciation thereof.
Ms. Power’s contention is that true kindness is a private gesture, between caring and cared, without expectation or acknowledgement. A silent kindness which is a sentiment echoed in some religious traditions, “the highest form of giving is the anonymous gift.” I do not disagree …
… Except that, for better or worse, our actions are governed by our habits, our habits our formed by our thoughts, and our thoughts are influenced by words. If kindness is silent, the only words left are, well, unkind. And our actions become their reflection.
Perhaps there is an even “higher” form of kindness. One that is a projection of a giving heart and a gifted tongue. A heart cultivated with kind intent, commitment, action, practice, and time which gives unconditionally, but also speaks of kindness without need of flattery. Maybe that kind heart would be willing to speak up and tell the world that it is ok to be kind.
Should I ever meet the owner of this heart and tongue, I would expect that she or he would tell me that kind words needs to be both silent, and spoken.
Today’s gift of time … None. Just silent appreciation and spoken gratitude to the many people who were kind to me today.