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Reader comment on Naomi Shihab Nye's passage ...

Before You Know What Kindness Really Is


On Apr 19, 2011 rahul wrote:

This passage was about attention for me: that to know kindness requires tuning into the constancy of the gifts that sustain us.  The challenge with constancy is that its so easy to take that flow for granted and lose gratitude for the kindness which continually charges us up.  Hence to know kindness, the author says we must go to the extreme end where its flow is nearly choked off such that even the smallest trickle gives rise to an abundant gratitude which ultimately transforms how we live.  There is truth in this, but also think there's a golden middle path that's found in fully accepting the challenges life throws at us.  Many examples of this: if somehow you don't get a meal or two, be with your hunger and watch how it changes all your lenses; if a car or train isn't available, let your muscles strain on the long journey home by foot or bicycle; if you feel ignored, embrace your fundamental aloneness past the point of discomfort; and through all of these things you will taste food, and sip time, and respect space, and honor love like never before.



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