Apparently Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that kindness and love are the “most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse”. Kindness is not a random act, it is a deliberate one. An act that reflects who we are and is an invitation to healing and wholeness. In all the great religions there are stories of the gurus acts of kindness that enable all around the individual act to be bathed in the glow of the encounter. Jesus welcoming the child, the leper, the widow, the sinner in counter-culture to the norms of the day, Buddha soothing the angry elephant springs to mind too. Biddy in your world, kindness from the mystical realm finds it was from the heavens and the underworld on the breath of the wind and the faery dust. Cruelty is the antonym of kindness – the harsh word, the ruthless hand, heartlessness – that brings shadow and darkness. The saying it only takes a candle to light the darkness has always been a favourite of mine, and I think this is the role kindness can play when cruelty starts to make its home and works its way to bring darkness.
This week, my country has experienced deep and deliberate acts of cruelty in an ideologically driven economic agenda in public policy. It is heart breaking. The anti-dote is kindness and it must start with me, in the simplest acts. With each act we can build our gross national kindness and light up all the corners until our individual candles overwhelm the darkness causing cruelty to be extinguished.
I had a flu injection this week to protect me agains the disease of winter. Each act of kindness can effectively inoculate against this dreadful season of cruelty I find my country in right now. To be cruel to be kind has no currency for me – there is never a time when cruelty is an act of kindness – and this maxim is a deception and must be resisted!
Every little act of kindness is a gift, a giving away of a droplet of love and like love, giving kindness away makes the kindness grow. The gifted act is a deposit in the national (and international) Bank of Kindness. It will keep the wolf of cruelty from the door followed swiftly by bankruptcy (which is where my country is dangerously close to being).
So here is an invitation: Take up the noble cause of kindness, it is one of the virtues of chivalry. Our Prime Minister’s re-introduction of knights and dames while an anathema to my republican spirit, if it means that the noble values of the knights are honoured by that same PM that would be a blessing for us all! Then, kindness might find a home on the Hill in Canberra. Instead of waiting for that day to arrive, I will deliberately make deposits into the Kindness Bank for my own well-being in the first instance and, if by chance, an occasional angry elephant is tamed, all the better.
May the Kindness is one of the most beautiful of all the Celtic blessings and I am sure you Biddy would have granted and received this blessing on many occasions. This is a blessing for you the reader and for my country and for all those who has suffering with a dose of cruelty may we all be blessed to give and receive kindness.