Kindness .. by Eshla

It’s time to be nice.  Loosen those grumpy pants.  No need for them right now.  You can put them back on after January 1st.

It’s time to be jolly, a friend jokingly says to me.  ”I love this time of the year.  You know why?  Because everyone is happy, finally!  They’re finally out of their cranky moods and are nice to strangers even.  Just think.”

Christmas has that effect.  At the holidays we have an epiphany and realize that we really should be nice to each other.  Shocking.

I wonder though why year round we don’t have that desire, why we don’t notice those around us, why we don’t say hello to the stranger, and most of all why we don’t even share those small acts of kindness with our loved ones.  But once a year, we plow through packed parking lots and a thicket of shoppers to get a trinket that will embody our kindness and love for a dear friend or family member.

“My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness,” is what the Dalai Lama famously uttered.  And he said, “Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.”  Now he has been quoted endlessly for this simple thought.  But it’s true.  It’s always possible – not just every December.  Above the other paths we follow, be it religion, profession, vocation, we should consider kindness.

Even ancient thinkers such as Aristotle wrote of a selfless kindness that supersedes your needs for other’s needs.  Nietzsche referred to kindness, which is the premise of love, as one of the “most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse.”  But, really this is not rocket science.  As we know kindness begets kindness.

And no, this is no hokey pokey Miss World speech.  But as many philosophical and spiritual texts tell us, the thoughts that we have form who we are: “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”  So kind thoughts form a more empathetic soul.

That’s why it’s imperative: for us to be happy spirits and live in a community that works, that’s interlinked.  Those kind souls then look at the world with a different lens: they are more gentle towards the earth, towards their bodies, and towards those around them.

The grudges that we hold year-round, the frustrations that eat us and fray our hairs into gray strands, the disputes that we refuse to compromise on, the situations that we resist to look at from another angle –  they all eat away that kindness.  Yet, the only thing that can diffuse them is kindness.

As I smacked golf balls on the range last week for the first time (an exercise largely to amuse myself and my instructor), my instructor said something simple but kind: “We’re all fragile.”  Hence, a dose of kindness is essential, not just the polite thing to do it.  Or as Plato wrote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

After the horrific incident in Newton earlier this week, NBC journalist Ann Curry threw out this idea - why not we counter the sad and ruthless event with acts ofkindness.   Quickly the message spread on Twitter and a new hashtag was eating up the Twitter feed: #26Acts.    And folks on Twitter began sharing kind ideas.   Since Sunday, almost 200,000 messages about this wave of goodwill have appeared on social media, coming from places far as Afghanistan, Russia, and Finland.  Words translated into action, smacking down barriers.

 

Kindness echoes, unites, forgives, pacifies, and nurtures.  It’s a rather universal medicine not just for others but for ourselves.  It reminds us that we’re part of something bigger.  The key is to be kind at the core, not just on the surface.  Empty words of kindness are about as nice as stale fruitcake.

 

So, consider retiring those grumpy pants this year.

13 Responses to “Kindness .. by Eshla”

  1. Sheela Nandini says:

    Hi Eshla,

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Good,kind thoughts there.

    Some of us are still waiting for some kindnesses to come our way…what to do???

    Love
    sheela

  2. RajuK says:

    I am quoting from one of Abrahim’s Lincoln’s speech during the American civil war,
    “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

  3. Sulagna says:

    “Kindness echoes, unites, forgives, pacifies, and nurtures”.. so pertinent .. yet if only all of us could keep that always in mind Mr. Kapoor…
    Great post!

  4. Sheela Nandini says:

    Some other kindnessess made their way to my home and heart:) And a whole bunch of gifts coming my way soon.
    Thank you God!

  5. RajuK says:

    Shekharji, when you get a chance, could you please let us know why this website was suspended for the last few days? Thanks!

  6. Jalaj Jha says:

    Shekhar-ji, It’s good to see your blog back again. The recent closure for a few days had worried me.

    I read one of your post on Mr India and why you killed Tina in the film. However you never mentioned who was the child actress who played the role. There are speculations all over on who played it and Ketkie Jayashree & Ragini Khanna named at a few places. I wrote a blog post at http://jalaj.net/blog/2013/01/01/who-i-tina-in-mr-india/ and believe me there are daily visits to the post and even after 25 years people are searching for the answer. Unfortunately I too didn’t find an answer.

    In one of your tweets it seems that you mentioned that the girl is currently an ad executive with Lintas. Can you please let us know the name.

  7. KR Matcha says:

    kindness may a reasoned option or a profitable option. it remains selective. The real organic kindness flows out of experience of seeing every thing being one. It is universal

  8. pixglam says:

    Hi, i loved your “spiritual words”, congrats.
    Pixglam.com

  9. koi says:

    Hi,
    A few nights back, saw Elizabeth without any bias, just to be with the film and was feeling so inspired, after the film got over, went for a long walk…how did those guys made a film with you, and then slept in confusion…the very next day, saw Bandit Queen…I think I got some answers…hey both the film you have used water element well…but I do not understand why are you not making pictures…paani – will have its destiny and it may take time…I feel that you should not be on strike…or something like that…do make more films…you are wasting talent….god given talent. Hope you are in good health and give my regards to Mogambo…though I do not know which religion he belongs ppppssst…the recent controversy ha ha that’s why! good day!

  10. Sheela Nandini says:

    Dear Shekharji,

    I wanted to thank you for the RT of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s Mahasivarathri message! Never knew they were on Twitter but I had had a look at their website some years ago.

    I found absolute gems in there while browsing through some of Sadhguruji’s posts last night. Gained a lot of clarity from the reading. He truly is WONDERFUL!

    Love
    sheela

  11. urvashi says:

    It is so easy to sympathise and very difficult to open your heart to Empathy. Once we do empathise we cant remain aloof ..we will have to pay the price of giving a part of us . So kind soul ..just sympathise from a distance and don’t attempt to leap into that chaos where nothing can save you.

  12. BIBASWAN says:

    Here goes my first blog post, hope u and ur readers like it

    http://padhyb.blogspot.in/2013/04/ABiggerBeggar.html

    Thanks,
    Bibaswan

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