Kindness, they say, is a Virtue

“There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
~ Kurt Vonnegut

It’s easy to be mired in–to be content in, even–the woes of comparison. Day after day, the world can seem the most bitter of foes, fate and luck and God and whatever else you wish, all conspiring against you, from the little things to the big. It makes us bitter as these things stack up, because as malleable a creature as we humans are, there are certain things we just never seem to forget…and most of them bad. What’s more, surrounded as we are by our fellow man, it’s all too easy to make the fatal mistake of comparing ourselves to others.

The result? Discontent with what we have, with the qualities that make us who we are. We begin to treat someone else’s success as our failure, our own successes as null and void by comparison. It’s a way to live, I suppose, and some dare say it drives us to better…but how does that lead to happiness?

Be kind. Embrace the world for what it is. Take stock of all that you have–it may not be all that you want, it may not even be half the things that someone else has, but it is yours, as those other things are someone else’s. Admire each on their own virtues. Is it wrong to hope, to wish, to long? No. But we mustn’t let it consume us. Happiness must be found in the moment, and a little kindness–a little acceptance–can go a long way to achieving that.

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'”
~Kurt Vonnegut


Quotes for the Soul

Today, and to start off this week, as I find myself in something more of a reflective mood, I leave you with a few quotes from someone I personally admire very much: the Dalai Lama. May you all have a wonderful week to come!

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”

“We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.”

“Peace does not come through prayer, we human beings must create peace.”

The Power Within

This next Haiku is dedicated to my sister-in-law: a wonderful woman, with a strong spirit, and a smile that could light the darkest of rooms. She also packs an unexpectedly strong right hook. Perhaps not the image you would expect when someone utters the words “Black Belt” to you, but she certainly lives up to the title she’s earned.

Small frame, strong spirit

The smile no indication—

Power sleeps within.