I’ve heard it said that the thing that matters most in life is kindness.
Perhaps, in this modern, highly competitive time, many people would either reject this idea outright, decide it’s impractical, or shirk from the realities this concept imposes.
What is kindness? As a child, I was mortified by the saying, ‘You’ve got to be cruel to be kind’, believing then that, whatever the motivation, cruelty in any form was abhorrent.
As an adult, I understand the meaning, but still question its application. If being ‘cruel’ involves coercion into a difficult situation, then in my book the coercer needs to be on very solid ground indeed. Isn’t making a value judgement that effects another person one of the heaviest responsibilities that one can undertake?
In its purist form, kindness embraces such diverse characteristics as generosity, tolerance, gentleness, patience and understanding, to name just a few.
If it’s true that what matters most in life IS kindness, then doesn’t humanity need to cultivate this: however inconvenient, costly or otherwise it seems?