Thinking of Others
Today I am late writing because I have been thinking of others. Tomorrow I am hosting an English advent day of making Christmas Wreaths and decorating the Christmas tree for some of my foreign alumni. So I have been scouring the shops for all I need. Certainly thinking of others is a really good way to avoid falling into an advent funk! There are almost always others who have less than we do, or have more reason to suffer.
This poem about #kindness resonated with me today:
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
– Naomi Shihab Nye https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Shihab_Nye
Until I looked her up to include this link, I hadn’t realised that her father was Palestinian. It seems especially pertinent and poignant to include it under the circumstances….
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