Kindness

I like words.  My second favourite one, right after “love”, is “kindness”.  I’m sometimes moved to tears when one person gives of themselves to another.

Reporters were gathered around The Dalai Lama.  One of them asked “Sir, how would you describe your religion?”  The world’s most visible Buddhist smiled and simply said “My religion is kindness.”  Four words that say so much.

I’ve often written about moments of kindness.  Today I yield to the intelligence and open hearts of many other folks.  I hope you let their thoughts flow into you.

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Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world
For indeed, that’s all who ever have

Margaret Mead

What is true power?

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The simple act of caring is heroic

Edward Albert

Who are true heroes?

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No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted

Aesop

How about picking up an eraser that a classmate has dropped?

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When I was young, I admired clever people
Now that I am old, I admire kind people

Abraham Joshua Heschel

I’m good at using words in unusual ways
Putting my arm around someone’s shoulder is far better

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Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind

Henry James

What, no cunning intellect, no dashing good looks?
No … neither of those

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I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance

Pablo Casals

Pablo was an astonishing cellist
He also knew a thing or two about life

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Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle

Plato

And if what if that’s true?
How would that change my speaking and doing and being?

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You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Will this be the last time I’m with this human being?

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Be kind whenever possible
It is always possible

The Dalai Lama

Even when someone is being mean to me?
Yes

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Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better
It’s not

Dr. Seuss

Maybe everybody is like me … down deep

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Always stop to think whether your fun may be the cause of another’s unhappiness

Aesop

Let’s laugh together
Let’s not laugh at together

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Never be so busy as not to think of others

It might be the worst four-letter word

Mother Teresa

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There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up

John Holmes

The physical heart and the spiritual heart … companions

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Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around

Leo Buscaglia

Just say hi

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That best portion of a man’s life:
His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love

William Wordsworth

Do it
Even if the person forgets that you did it
Or even if they didn’t know it was you

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Tentative

I knew I had to do it – unpack the tent I bought for the Tour du Canada and set it up.  I’d been avoiding the task.  But why?  Another flavour of fear, I suppose.  I’ve known that puppy for a long time.

“You won’t do it right.”  The voice has followed me all my days.  Supposedly clear instructions often turn into a mystery.  Oh well.  Today’s the day for tent erection, in my bedroom so to avoid nasty environmental hazards.

I thought a YouTube video would be a good companion.  “Mountain Equipment Co-op Camper 2 Tent”  sounded like a good search.  And it was.  Two happy young people, a man and a woman, joyfully and deftly did this and that, and tent plus fly were scraping the sky in no time.

I assembled the two main poles with the interior shock cords and the resulting beasts were about ten feet long.  I was supposed to bend them so that together they’d create a huge X across the top of the tent while imbedded in grommets at the four corners.  One loop zoomed off into the wall when pressured, and the old thoughts returned:  “You’re not very smart … A kid would have this up in no time … Why exactly are you going on this ride?”

Misadventures proceeded at a good pace.  I couldn’t figure out what was inside and what was outside about the fly.  I had an extra 3-foot length of tent pole that I didn’t know what to do with.  There were fabric loops and plastic clips that seemed to be hanging everywhere.  I couldn’t maneuver my body right to get the little Velcro strips on the fly to attach nicely on the poles.  I had too many tent pegs to match my inspection of the exterior.  Was the manufacturer kind enough to supply extras?  Video One said to do X but then I found Video Two, which heartily suggested Y.  What’s a confused man to do?

At one point, I sat on the bed and pouted.  But then I looked at my as yet unnamed sleeping accommodations, and realized something: The beast was standing and I had been the stander.  Then I looked more deeply.  This will be my rolling home for 72 days, and home is a very precious thing.  So I smiled.  I’m on the road to find out how to do a whole bunch of things this summer, both on and off the bike.  The journey has started and I’m along for the ride.

Adventure
The unknown
My companions
All is well