Saturday, November 29, 2008

Prose: Kindness

Writing about kindness conjures in my mind an image of a hand gently cradling a cheek. One person extending that gentle hand and cupping another’s face. It’s an act of love, a reaching out beyond one’s own circumstances, beyond one’s moods and thinking process to be thee for someone else’s situation or to extend love.
I wasn’t always kind. I was interested in the truth of the moment. I dealt with things as they came up, including being of service where it was requested.
Kindness came later. I remember one day, one of my kids was goading me, digging his heels in, being stubborn and somewhat disrespectful. I grabbed him by the front of his T-shirt and brought him close to me and said, “You don’t know who you’re dealing with, pal. I’ve learned to be kind.”
And I had. My last two children, especially my daughter, fairly demanded kindness from me in situations where I might have been more strident, tougher.
How did I get that tough? Was I ever not tough. I think it was a mixed bag. I learned to be tough to not be walked all over being short, being female, being married to a Scorpio who broke my innocent heart.
Underneath, there was always a kindness to animals, small children, any of nature’s creatures, old people, or when someone was sick. My daughter helped me find ways to bring that kindness in and around and through the toughness that single mothering of four sons sometimes demanded. I could go neck-n-neck with them.
With her, it was work to not automatically go there. As triple water, she was more sensitive and needed other things from me. From my relationship with her, I began to be kind.

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