Random Acts of Kindness.
Some weeks y'all. This week, three different sets of friends posted about friends or neighbors of theirs who had their homes burn down. In two of these cases, one person in each of the couples has burns over 75% of their bodies.
Also, lots of pets either dying or getting sick, including our own Lissa Tortilla. She was shaking her head and falling over on Tuesday morning so, off to the vet. Full exam, blood panels, etc, show nothing, except a couple sore spots on her spine, so she completed a round of anti-inflammatories today, and seems to be back to herself... Aside from occasionally shaking her head and falling over, or miscalculating how high to jump to get up on her favorite chair. The vet said if that continues, that we should probably get an MRI because it could be neurological, but it seems to be slowly subsiding so... ? Watchful waiting...
Hug and love your people, and hug and love the critters that love you and rely on you.
What does this have to do with random acts of kindness? My thought this week has been that kindness, out of the blue, acts as a sort of battery for community. Like love, it isn't a limited resource - the more love and kindness you put out into the world, the more there is to give. Like we explained to M1 as M2 was coming into the world, there won't be less love in your life because we have to "divide" our attention, there will be more love in your life because we are adding another person who will love you. Kindness works the same way. It has a tendency to spiral or ripple out, like a splash in the water.
When something terrible happens, kindness is (often, usually, hopefully) the default response because we are moved by empathy. "Random", or maybe more accurately, integral generous-hearted kindness (the nature of practicing kindness as a way of life) primes that flow of empathy. It builds not only chosen community, but civic community.
At the heart of a lot of what's wrong with our civic life right now is a lack of kindness and empathy in discourse, in policies. And it's hard to have empathy and a sense of kindness about egregious cruelty, which is correct... But compassion is the grace that elevates kindness. We do not need to accept meanness and cruelty. But we can choose to practice compassion and kindness, and even sometimes love in ways that bring more of these things into the world despite the ugliness.
Choose kindness, choose compassion, choose love.
May you and all you love be safe from fire and all elements, may your pets be well, and may you know love and curiosity.