Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thoughts from Places: The Value of Kindness ||Ori


Original image property of Jocelyn Wardle


I want to be the person in the room who can see someone suffering, like we all can, and not be afraid that in offering something of myself to that person I will lose something.

I want to be the person brave enough to be accepting of everyone, no matter of judgement.

I want to be the person who has completely turned away from my own brand of cowardice and cares little to nothing what others think, because I know I'm doing the right thing.

I want to be humble enough to befriend the person nobody likes, because I know that it will take nothing from me to show another human being, animal or...anything! Kindness.

I don't want to be the person who has become so attached to a particular brand of happiness that I'm never willing to risk letting it go. I want to obtain the philosophical ideal of eudaimonia, or at least practise it hopefully. I do not want to see the obvious flaws in people (detachment, anxiety, depression) as flaws that might hurt me, but I'd rather see them as things I can help others with.

I do not want to live in a perfectly curated fantasy-world that can never be open to change and disruption because it is so wholly based on attachment.

I want to see flaws and still let those 'flawed' people in, knowing that those 'flaws' are nothing more than a perception based on outside sources. I want to know, truly, in my heart that if I am afraid to befriend a sad person, or a mean person, it is because I have an important lesson to learn from them. Perhaps it will be patience, perhaps acceptance. Perhaps staunch refusal to let their negativity pass, even.

I don't want to be 'scared' that others will provide ruin. I want to KNOW that my happiness is self-sustained. That it is based on empathy and helpfulness, mindfulness. That I do what I believe is right, rather than what is based on instant gratification.

I wonder, in avoiding the sad and downtrodden, the misfits and so on, do we end up celebrating negativity?

Are we fearful of those who appear less-than, whether, mentally, spiritually or physically, for fear they will provide the ruination of that perfectly curated fantasy world? Do we all NEED to concentrate more on allowing those whom we first perceive as 'flawed' in?

If negativity is, in my opinion, allowing harmful attitudes to be perpetuated without doing even the smallest thing to to combat it, then wouldn't ignoring those who are clearly in need also be negative?

I want to combat divisive attitudes in the world, but I also want to combat them in myself. I want to accept everyone upon face value (or more than face value), discard any judgement based on the outside world and become a safe forum for others to be around.

We are so indoctrinated by media, by history, by so many other things and people into our 'ideas' and values, judgement and opinions. I suppose the important thing is to practice mindfulness when these niggling little aspects of society get into our heads, and make sure they don't overtake the kind and valuable person we have the potential to be. We can always improve. We can always try to be more empathetic, accepting, kind and compassionate. It's always what I'm trying to work towards, I think there's serious value in kindness.

Xo Ellen.