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On Kindness

Contemplation of ‘Why?’ we learn, adhere to, and behave in certain ways has always intrigued me – one such question is:

“Why do we find it necessary to be kind?”

One of the many tediously bland, and reasonless, lessons we are taught by adults when we are kids is the importance of having manners, using the magic words (please, and thank you), and ultimately to be “nice” and “kind” as a person and to others.

We accept this lesson and abide by its mechanics of superficial social normalcy and grow to be adults who are simply swifter and more versed in the platitudes of gratitude than our younger-former selves.

But, why is kindness important? Why is it so necessary?

I do not have the answer, but consider this:

Consider the idea of a world in which others were not kind; it would come with revelations we so desperately endeavored to disallow ourselves the simple awareness that we are deeply sensitive to our unconvinced legitimacy for existing. The alarming sensitivity to our own value, our worth, our claims to happiness and love, our own goodness and our uncomprehending deservedness of attention, acknowledgment, and our ultimate fate and legacy.

We are taught kindness not for others but with the hope of its return to us. We despair for the validation against our own self-loathing through the tiniest of gestures that we are bestowed, like a smile, a door held open, anything to convince us against our inner pains and battles of questioning our worthiness to continue.

Kindness being traded as a currency from which we purchase little plots of emotional survival. After all, if there is no one around to see our shattering hearts, does it make a sound?

Once we learn the value and power kindness bestows upon us – the ability to be the savior of another from their own self-contempt – the kinder we become through the desperate need of others to be kind to us.

As we grow in our understanding of self-knowledge, we do not cling to social norms and manners as a cause for a kinder world but do so through the awareness of the existence of the duality of this world – if it’s not kindness, we are left with cruelty, or worse; indifference.

We grow kinder through our pain and our acute desperation for it to end and ultimately, our desirous craving of some evidence of our right to exist.

Be kind.

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