Suppose every time you were kind you received some form of financial compensation, would you be wealthy like Oprah and Bill Gates? Would you be well off or would you be struggling financially to make ends meet?
Suppose every act of kindness was a seed planted in fertile soil, what kind of crops would you be reaping? Would your garden be overflowing with rich and lush vegetation or would it be a barren field, void of nourishment or beauty?
Suppose every time you withheld an act of kindness you subtracted a day or a year from the life of a loved one, would you be surrounded by friends and family for an eternity or would you be alone because no one remains due to the simple lack of kindness?
The Dalai Lama has said that kindness is his religion and the Buddha said in the Metta Sutra …
“So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.”
Many of us spend more time being right than righteous and at peace. For many, being rude, loud, mean, selfish, and self-righteously indignant is the norm, it is easier than being quiet, gentle, supportive, understanding, and compassionate.
If we are to understand the lessons of any and all of the master teachers, one lesson that is clearly at the top of the list is the one that calls us to be kind. It is within kindness that compassion is given a voice, love given a form of service, and life made visible in the fellowship we have with one another and all of creation.
I recently realized that many refuse to be kind because they erroneously equate it with being weak. Kindness and passive acceptance are net in any way synonymous.
Kindness takes great strength and fortitude! Being unkind is therefore an act of cowardice as it is the ego’s reaction and not the choice, response of Spirit.
I mean really, think about how often you are the recipient of unkind words or actions; do you like that feeling? No, then why would you ever want to do that to someone else? I know there is a certain feeling of satisfaction derived from giving unkindness to an unkind person, a kind of tit for tat, vengeance game. However, is that really the “karma” you desire to plant in the garden of the universe? If everything you give out will come back to you in some way shape or form, can you afford, do you want to afford to give sour when you could give sweet?
Like Rev. Trish of the Celebration Center in Falls Church, VA challenged the congregation, I now challenge you, not to be more than kind to others but to be kindness itself! Let everything that you are be kindness; once you are living, moving, and having your beingness as kindness, you no longer have to think about when or how to act kind. Kindness will be the only response you can give since it is what you are.
So let us unite with the Dalai Lama and proclaim that Kindness is our religion since it is who and what we are!
This is my simple religion. There is no need for the temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.