Meditations On Kindness and Other Things

I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness lately, because it has become to me increasingly apparent that despite every effort, it has remained an elusive virtue to achieve. But perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise. You see, early last year I set the intention—as a resolution of sorts—to be a kinder, more compassionate human being. I told myself and everyone who was willing to listen that when I leave this earth I want to be remembered not as someone who was great at what he did, nor someone who was very talented and very successful; on that day when I finally leave this vessel I want to be remembered as someone who was deeply kind. I should have known that when I put something out there, the universe would respond.

It always does.

Because since I’ve embarked on this journey of self-improvement I have been placed in circumstances and introduced to people and brought to places which have repeatedly tested my resolve. I wish I could say that for the most part I’ve succeeded, but I’m afraid I’m not that lucky on that front. Sure, there are days when I would catch a glimpse of the person I want to be—offering strangers a smile, say, or doing someone a favor without prompt or a reward in mind—but often I would hang my head in defeat and catalogue the day’s sins of either commission or omission—the petty remark given carelessly, the failure to give a passing beggar a dime, the little thoughts that would fester in the mind for days on end—and in turn anger myself for my inability to change.

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