This past Sunday (August 26) was Mother Teresa’s birthday. We revere her memory as a great person, but as she continually said, “We are not called to do great things; we are called to do ordinary things with great love.” We marvel at her impact on the world, when the only power she had was her kindness. But we shouldn’t marvel. Hidden in simple kindness is the power to change a situation, change a life, change our home, change our community. All the great spiritual teachers tell us this: that loving kindness is not a little thing, or even an ordinary thing (though we can make it so easily enough). It is a superpower. And here’s the latest news: recent research has found that witnessing an act of kindness, even to a stranger, increases a person’s compassion toward others. Kindness is self-replicating. I wish it just flowed naturally from me all the time. But in specific situations, I have to remind myself: “Ron, be kind.” And then, sometimes, I am. Maybe you need to do the same. Here in our Valley we’re into our last month of PVPP’s “Practice indiscriminate Kindness” Campaign. How are we doing? How are you doing? And who’s the kindest person you know? Tell them so.
They serve us well.
Ron Shonk, Proactive Violence Prevention Project coordinator, Keremeos