This I Believe

Charlene - Boulder, Colorado
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe in kindness. Not a wishy-washy and genteel “Here, let me open the door for you,” kindness, but a kindness that comes out when you’re backed up against the wall, and have a choice, even if for only for a split second, to take the higher road that leads to a space that accepts and makes room for all things. I learned this from my mother. She was dying pretty much throughout my twenties, and I never before or since have seen a person die with so much vitality, with so much passion for the life she still had left, and with so much kindness for and understanding of those around her. She had a great laugh which she used often, and good pratical tips for living. In the last card she sent me she told me of the benefits of drinking a lot of water. And this was before water bottles were even invented. She wrote, “Live your life well, always have moxie, and by the way, drink lots of water. It’s good for you. Love, Mom.” She wrote this from the hospital where she was actively and consciously dying and probably making all the nurses and the orderlies around her laugh. I believe in a kindness that includes everything, even death, taxes, and and a well-timed joke. Forget about love; that’s a loaded word. Forget about compassion; everyone has their own definition. Kindness is simple, old-fashioned, practical and workable. Just do it on the spot. And remember to drink a lot of water. Because it’s good for you. Be kind to yourself. From there, kindness to others will flow out of you. My mother knew what she was talking about. Because I believe in her, I continue to believe in kindness. Kindness works. Thanks for the tip, Mom.