Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

Kindness

Monday, July 18th, 2011

“Somewhere near you, somebody right now is trying to help the indigent and poor – providing food, shelter, clothing or simple kindness.” –  Tony Snow (1955-2008)

Basic Human Needs

“Wouldn’t it be neat / If the people you meet / Had shoes upon their feet / And something to eat? / And wouldn’t it be fine, / if all human kind had shelter? – - Basic human needs / Basic human deeds / Doing what comes naturally / Down in the garden / Where no one is apart / Deep down in the garden / The garden of your heart. – - And wouldn’t it be daring / If folks started sharing / Instead of comparing / What each other was wearing?” – Wavy Gravy

 

Photo by L.E. Erickson

We’re All One

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

I’m watching from afar as David and his homeless friend Jason play basketball under the bridge. One of the first things Jason says as he approaches me after their game is “we are all connected… we’re all one.” Looking me in the eyes with his arms held out wide, he steps close and gives me a long hug. He goes on to quote a passage from Psalms, talks to me about the angels that surround and protect us, along with a demonstration on how to protect myself should I ever be attacked by an unsavory character. More hugs follow.

It’s no coincidence that I meet Jason for the first time the day after I saw the documentary “I AM“. The whole point and purpose of the film is to acknowledge and celebrate the mysterious and profound interconnectedness we have with one another and all things. Not only is it a spiritual phenomenon, but this truth is being validated over and over again by scientific research throughout the world. It is in our DNA to be sympathetic, compassionate… we are born to be our brother’s keeper.

Often as I walk the streets of the city, talking with, hugging, helping out and photographing strangers (some are members of our homeless community), Hebrews 13:2 comes to mind – “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Perhaps I have. I am discovering that we all have far more in common than not, and those with little more than the clothes on their back bless me more than words can say simply by being themselves and sharing even a brief moment of their lives with me. Thank you, Jason.

David McArthur writes in his book ‘The Intelligent Heart’ – “Love does not only transform our mental/emotional nature, it also involves the physical system of our body which goes through profound changes as well.” As we give up our self-awareness to become more aware of the greatness and beauty that lies within others, not judging by outward appearances so that we might know and love them with our heart, we begin to experience life and relationships with one another on a deeper and much healthier level of interconnectedness, wholeness and wellness. This is where the kind of change we wish to see in ourselves and the world happens.

Jesus wasn’t found among the most beautiful and affluent, rather he was ridiculed for befriending and loving those who are known as “untouchables” in some cultures. Jesus led by example, showing us how to love and give generously and unconditionally. Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Like the message of the movie “I AM“, it turns out that it is our intuitive heart’s intelligence that guides us and not our cerebral brain. It is knowing, responding, loving and giving from our hearts that makes our community and world a better, safer place to live… one decision, one random act of kindness, one person at a time… starting with me and you.

by L.E. Erickson

“At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm, which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything else.” ~ George Leonard (1923-2010); American writer