What I’m really trying to say is…
kindness is a language
Life is too short to focus on the negatives or hold grudges.
It is better to look at the good things and let go of anything that pulls you down or does not make you happy.
While I’ve always believed this, it comes to me with greater force when specific events happen.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes almost three years ago, it got me thinking. Overnight, my priorities changed. Things that seemed urgent, were no longer at the top of the list. I had such a change of perspective and I am glad I did, because now health was No.1 on my list and everything else came later. And so I worked on reducing stress, getting regular exercise, making sure my family ate healthy with me and focused on getting that blood sugar back in control. I did.
Then, about a month ago, I was sitting in a cab when an earthquake hit. Literally! Quite like a warning, you know. And quite scary. As things shook around me, and people were evacuated from buildings and the airport, I wondered what was the point in allowing any kind of negative thought or worry to control the mind. Of course the quake passed, and all was well. But oh, what a jolt it was!
As I flew back home, I resolved to channel my energies on activities related to the what made me happy. These included:
(and my coffee!)
I decided I would try not to complain about anything. I’ve consciously controlled myself from doing it for several years, but every once in a while, I do slip up and feel guilty.
I wanted to declutter my home with renewed force and donate as many items as I could. This is an ongoing process and what a pleasure it is. I am still a long way from feeling a sense of achievement, but I know I will get there. I am enjoying the process.
And then the Chennai rains struck.
OMG. Nothing like a major tragedy to push one to take stock of life. We have a number of family members stranded in the city, but presently safe…although we don’t know for how long. Food and water are a major shortage. Apartment buildings are partially submerged in water. A sea of humanity is rallying around to do their best – of which I am a tiny drop in the ocean…..literally.
Yesterday we managed to rescue my nephew and his three classmates and bring them home.
Today, I am busy collecting clothes and dry provisions, blankets and other essentials to drop off at a point from where trucks are leaving for Chennai tomororw evening.
The thing is – when we see the effect of the distastrous rain flooding a city – people being displaced from their homes, or being trapped in them, water entering the second floor of houses, water washing away hut-settlements, trains cut off, airport closed with the aircraft submerged in water, hospitals deserted even as sickness spreads, people stranded without food and water as the rain lashes down mercilessly, it changes our perspective. As well it should. When we managed to get in touch with my 83-year old father in law who lives there, he was telling us how the lady who works in their building had gone to her village, only to come back and find her home and belongings washed away.
It feels so petty to complain … about anything! At least that’s the way it works for me. It makes me even more acutely conscious of all that I am blessed with – a cozy home, food, clothing, medical attention and sunshine. (And coffee, of course).
I don’t ever want to stress over problems, however small or large. I want to take action by being the change, or letting go.
I only want to work towards spreading happiness and collecting smiles.
And all I am saying is this:
We don’t have to wait for a shocking incident to put life in perspective.
We could make it a habit to see others through the eyes of kindness.
We could adopt the language of kindness.
We could use words to heal, not hurt.
People don’t last forever. Nothing really does. Why not appreciate and love them for as long as they are there?
This moment. That’s all that matters. Kindness matters.
Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see. And that’s the truth.
Won’t you join us?