November 18, 2012: “Then it is only kindness . . . “

Just back from Superstorm Sandy-damaged Brooklyn and thinking about Naomi Shihab Nye’s Kindness. And about how all over the Northeast, right this minute, people are being kind to other people. At my grandson’s soccer game in Prospect Park, yesterday, for example, a soccer mom casually mentioned to my daughter that arranging a play-date between the soccer mom’s son and my grandson might have to wait awhile because her family’s camping out with friends until their waterlogged, Redhook home is habitable again. “It’s crazy right now,” she explained. Sheepishly.

Displaced families have found refuge on kind friends’ couches and floors. Other kind people are posting schedules on Facebook  for dinners. Or a shower. All over Park Slope I spotted notices for relief-aid fund-raisers slapped onto store windows.

No one’s videoing this kind acts. No one’s keeping score. They’re just happening. Quietly. And, because there IS “that of God in everyone,”as Quakers often say, these lifegiving, generous acts will keep happening. I believe that.

A sweet opening at Meeting this morning: Why not just assume that everyone’s got a traumatized family camping out in their living room? I tried on. Why not assume that everyone’s operating a soup kitchen for their neighbors or are spending their days tending an ailing, confused parent? Instead of wishing more people would get involved with—oh, let’s say Climate Change or Our Criminal Justice System, why not simply assume that everyone is already busily, busily KIND?

(Just tried this on in meeting this morning but, gotta say, this construct has already proven enormously gratifying!)



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