This meandered within me earlier this morning:
Kindness. Compassion. Gentleness.
These human capacities of ours can be a real antidote to the aggression, pain, harm, and atrocities we bear witness to every day.
Just as we are bidden to rest when we are ill, a means to “healing” the aggression that feels so pervasive around us these days is to slow down.
It’s difficult to see others when we’re rushing headlong through traffic, crowds, errands, and life.
The recent addition of road signs that read “Drive Friendly” – while a source of antagonism for some – nearly made me weep with relief … if drivers just slowed down, took their time, paid attention to their surroundings, we could avoid many of the vehicle tragedies that have plagued our little island in recent months. If people could just cultivate a little more friendliness.
Holding a door. Smiling or waving at someone. Making pleasant eye contact. Greeting and thanking. Waiting one’s turn.
Watching the swallow’s flight dance. Hearing the woodpecker’s thrum for food. Noticing the clouds, light, sunrise, wavering breeze. Observing the tight bud loosening, tip by edge by petal unfurling itself into full flower.
These require a slowing. A slowing into goodness.
This morning, I gingerly untangled and plucked the spider web from the legs of a yellow-socked bee who struggled on his back on the patio table beside my coffee; I righted him to his feet.
A few minutes ago, I became distraught as I saw from my kitchen window the frantic hummingbird with the bindi-like red dot on his chest caught inside my neighbor’s deer-proof netting; I went outside and lifted the net as high as I could while encouraging the tiny bird … until finally he found his way under and out of the inadvertent trap.
These required awareness, patience, tenderness.
Kindness, Compassion, and Gentleness ask that we slow down for, notice, pay attention to, and care about “the other”; in so doing we invite in and reinvigorate our capacity for goodness. Slow goodness.
(Orig. posted 7/2018.)
All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2019 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."