Kindly We Go

by Maida Korte

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.  Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”  –  Scott Adams

            I have always been bothered by the fact that I walk around with myself every day.  I wake up behind these eyes and peer out of them no matter what I do or where I go.  I know what is on the inside and sometimes I am exhausted by the chaos and constant struggle to keep things organized.   The eternal series of corridors, passageways and entrance and exit points of my mind’s contents bogs me down and I am easily distracted.  For example, as I crisply stride toward a very important piece of information that must be retrieved NOW  is necessary NOW and relevant NOW in the conversation I am having (and I know precisely where this is logged) but as I enter the room to the left of the right ventricle (well it just is) of the eleventeeth quadrant of the central orb to the left, I find that the molding on the doorway is interesting but lacking and couldn’t crown molding make it just a little bit better especially if there was a tiny piece of trim placed just so between the flat and the crown?  Well wouldn’t it?  So you see the problem.  The conversation continues but a slightly blank stare shows up on my face as I work thru the molding issue and BLAM the information that I was looking for hides only to taunt me in the middle of the night when I sit up and loudly proclaim JONATHAN  EDWARDS.  Andy then wakes up and says ‘who?’ and I say ‘what?’ and we sleep again.

            Managing self is a career with little rewards and the time put toward this endeavor more often lends to plastering an exterior with trivial patches than soothing an ache of the soul. The tendency to pride looms large and the equally damaging tendency toward shame lurks in the shadows which almost always loops back to pride.  False humility, the Uriah Heep in all of us, is ignored to our peril and is obvious to everyone but ourselves most of the time.  No one likes a peacock with tail feathers spread broad only to be heard murmuring, “Oh heavens, this old thing?”  Balancing the ubiquitous ego that rises up out of the ocean sometimes as a monster and occasionally as something gorgeous, fulfilling and balanced requires character that can be influenced and tended.   I have discovered that this is very much in our control and I offer my answer to the concealed trap of self by embracing a common thread, a theme, a cord, a tether that halters and leads me down healthy roads that take me to the places of the mind where I actually want to go.    

            I experienced kindness as a baby when my big brother Toddy filled my two week old mouth full of white sugar from a bowl in the kitchen.  My sugary white lips and wide eyes were discovered by my mother moments later and Toddy standing with an empty bowl in his two year old hands was evidence of him wanting to do something nice for his new baby sister.  Of course I have been told this story over and over and I still smile as I think of my big brother ‘trining’ as we would come to say.  So, it is one thing to experience kindness and quite another to learn to dole it out ourselves.  We start out with me me my my mine mine and eek towards you you and why why?  It doesn’t make sense!  I am here and it is now and this is mine and we are done!  So we slowly work our way towards a consciousness that includes the thought that others matter, but why do they matter?   Arenas of books have been written about the ID, the ego, the me and the my and the oh my all addressing the fact that we live inside of ourselves and getting to the outside to look around is a feat of courage and requires a continual muscle pumping of the core of us.  The hot mess of our central selves can be contained into a power producing engine that breeds something bigger, something much better than what we already know and experience and perhaps resent or dislike.  Working toward the value of kindness is like seeing a light far far away – too far – and making progress toward that light and finding out that sinew and substance and strength stretch toward beauty indescribable. 

            Kindness is not an act in and of itself.  The most naïve among us know this.  The tone of your life is not the act you do, but the manner and mood in which you do it.  The dollar stuffed with a mutter and an oath into an outstretched hand breeds nothing if not resentment (the giver) and shame (the givee). 

In a movie I saw ages ago, an elegant woman says to a ragamuffin girl, “Smile as you enter a room!  It puts everyone else at ease.”  Indeed.  There is a smile of the heart as much as a snarl of the conscience and which one will be promoted inside my aging head today?  My mind needs to be exercised with kindness in order to allow me time away from self where I can wander into other people’s light and glow from the inside. 

4 Responses to “Kindly We Go

  • Wendy Larson
    10 months ago

    Very thought provoking!

  • Great reminder to be mindful of “the manner and mood in which” I may “exercise kindness.” Oh, to get out from behind these eyes of mine and “see this world as though I were looking through His eyes!”

  • Allan James
    10 months ago

    Maida….I have to say…..this is quite……brilliant!

  • Allan James
    10 months ago

    Maida…..I have to say……this is quite……..brilliant!

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