Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Monday, January 1, 2018

Failures of Kindness - George Saunders

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness...

Those moments when another human being was there, in front
of me, suffering, and I responded...sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.
Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope:
Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the
most undeniable feelings of warmth?

Those who were kindest to you, I bet.

Now, the million dollar question: Why aren't we kinder?

Here's what I think:

There's confusion in each of us, a sickness, really:

Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions...
They are:

1) we're central to the universe (that is our personal story
is the main and most interesting story, the only story, really).
2) we're separate from the universe (there's US and "out there").
3) we're permanent (death is real, o.k., sure - but nor for me).

Now, we don't really believe these things - intellectually we know
better - but we believe them viscerally, and live by them, and
they cause us to prioritize our own needs over the needs of others,
even though what we really want, in our hearts, is to be less selfish,
more aware of what's actually happening in the present moment,
more open, and move loving.

So - second million dollar question: How might we DO this?

...to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.

One thing in our favor: some of this "becoming kinder" happens
naturally, with age.  It might be a simple matter of attrition:
as we get older, we come to see how useless it is to be selfish -
how illogical, really.  We come to love other people and are
thereby counter-instructed in our own centrality.  We get our
butts kicked by life, and people come to our defense, and help
us, and we learn that we're not separate, and don't want to be.
We see people near and dear to us dropping away, and are
gradually convinced that maybe we too will drop away
(someday, a long time from now.)  Most people, as they are,
become less selfish and more loving.  I think this is true.

And so, a prediction, and my heartfelt wish for you: as you
get older, your self will diminish and you will grow in love.
YOU will gradually be replaced by LOVE. 

That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality
 - your soul, if you will - is as bright and shining as any
 that has ever been.  Clear away everything that keeps you
 separate from this secret luminous place.  Believe it exists,
 come to know it better, nurture it, and share its fruits tirelessly.

George Saunders

Excerpts from the convocation speech
to the graduating class of 2013
at Syracuse University


You are Eternal Being
unbounded and undivided.
Be kind to yourself
Open to your Heart...

If you want to help the planet
Live a life of compassion
Live a life of Love...

From - The Truth Is

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