I think about the nature of Christmas a lot at this time of year. And how it is better to give than receive. And that the giving doesn’t always have to be an expensive gift or something we can hold in our hands.
The best gift than anyone can give or anyone can receive comes down to one word. This word is one of the big words you can utter in this life. Like love or forgiveness. This word is transformative. It has a deep core of knowing. It can stand on its own completely unadorned and still emit an everlasting radiance.
I know that most of us often feel there is far too little kindness in a world that can seem dark and threatening at times but I can tell you it is still alive and well.
It will flourish if we let it.
I have just received an email from a blogging friend of mine. I have never met him in person but I know he is the type of person I would enjoy hanging out with. Some of you may know him as Punatik. He lives in Hawaii.
He is in California right now traveling on Highway 162 in Mendocino County. All that way over on the other side of the world and he takes the time to send me a photograph of himself with a sign saying: Greetings Uncle Sean.
Because he knows my Uncle always wanted to go to California.
Sometimes we lose the thread of things, don’t we? No matter how hard we try the tiny fragment of it eludes the grip of our clumsy fingers and we struggle to pull everything together.
And then someone takes the time to be kind, to be thoughtful and suddenly the thread is there right between our fingers, just where it always was.
Highway 162 in Mendocino County.
I think of Kate and Anna McGarrigle and their song –
Talk to me of Mendocino
closing my eyes, I hear the sea
Must I wait, must I follow?
Won’t you say “Come with me?”
It’s a song about second chances which to me are not so much about starting again but recognising that hope is always there – waiting to rise.
People do that. Give us hope.
Kindness does that.
Thank you, Emilio. Your photograph made me realise that the hopes and dreams people who venture to California hold in their hearts are still there. And everyone all over the world can touch them.
Speak it aloud this Christmas.
Whisper the word into the the night air so it will rise with the spirits of the wind and settle in the morning like bare hands touching.
The power of it is extraordinary.
Pulling our dreams into the day.
This choked me up – what a lovely thing to do Punatik! Beautiful words too Selma – the ‘radiance’ of kindness – when I see or hear the word kindness I always see the colour of amber or transparent yellow/honey glistening 🙂
Now, how freaking cool is that!?!?
What a wonderful thing to do!
If everyone had even a smidgen of that kindness, what a different world it would be!
Reading this renewed my faith that there are people out there capable of that.
What a lovely Christmas gift to you!
Lovely. I will try my bext Selma. Thanks for the reminder. Kindness.
Awwwwwwwwwwwwww! What an AWESOME thing to do Punatik!!!
Beautiful – what a gesture.
And a beautiful expressed reminder.
Interestingly, I just now got back from lunch with eight colleagues. One, Herbert, disappeared from the table and came back putting his credit card in his wallet – he had bought lunch for the table. Right away everyone started protesting, “oh you can’t” and “here you must takes some money…” Herbert said “it’s Christmas and I just want to treat you.” Finally I just said, “Thank you Herbert, it’s very kind of you,” and he seemed relieved. We forget sometimes that being kind is as pleasurable for the giver as it is to the reciever – often more so. Then I suggested that instead of arguing about Herbert’s act of kindness, maybe we could all commit to doing something nice for someone else today. That seemed to appease the protesters!
Me too. Amber is the perfect colour for it. I was so touched by Punatik’s gesture. Blown away!
Can you imagine how different the world would be with that kind of kindness going around? I might even LIKE the world. Hahaha.
You can do it, Lauri. I will try my best too!
He is the awesomest, isn’t he?
What a fabulous story. People do get a kick out of acts of kindness. Sometimes the recipients are embarrassed but it is important to remember how much pleasure it gives some people to be kind. Your story made me feel really good!
Cathy said it perfectly, how freaking cool is that!!! Oh Sel, what a lovely, lovely post. I am tearing up here. I loved reading this. Kindness is so underrated. It is SO powerful, so transformative. It is something we can’t give up on. I’m on a kindness “binge” right now, planning several extra efforts for the holidays, to spread some kindness wherever I can. I am a kind person. It is one of the things I’ve been told throughout my life that I am most proud to be. thank you for this post. And for your kindness to me.
LOVE the photo too, perfect.
Hugs (another great way to share some kindness) G 🙂
PS: Mr. Ched has a greeting to share as well at:
He gave me a headbonk when I forgot to share his post! 😉
great post, lady. i actually usually kind of give up on kindness this time of year but friends like yrs give me hope.
The act of kindness, we sure need a lot more of this I feel around the world. Beautifully written, and a lovely story.
Kindness is such a powerful force. It always makes me cry when I see it or experience it. You ARE a kind person. One of the kindest people I have ever come across. You should be proud of that. It is a rare thing these days. And thank YOU for your constant kindness to me. Hugs and smooches to you and to the fabulous Mr. Ched. What a beautiful boy he is. I wuvs you snookums XXXX
Don’t give up, hope, Jason. There are still good people left in the world. I firmly believe that. Sometimes they grow dispirited and hide away, but they are always there. Don’t give up XX
Oh, we really do. A little bit of kindness sure goes a long way 😀