First and Foremost I want to send my thoughts and prayers to everyone effected by the Boston Marathon Bombing. I know it might be cliché to blog about it, but it seems to fit right in with this topic. I feel the sorrow, and mourning for the troubled of this tragic event, but I also have to say, it's inspiring, and hopeful to see all those that come to help. It's astronomical to understand the amount of courage it takes to get back up when you are directly effected by something so catastrophic as this, and then look to see where you can lend a hand. Kindness is not for pussies, everyone: It takes courage, it takes empathy; and it means you have to act!
I know a lot of nice people. They smile, say please, thank you, and generally avoid making others uncomfortable. It is so good to have people like this. However, I'd also like to point out; nice is not the same thing as being kind, at least not in my opinion. Think about the word "kind". Two of a Kind. What Kind of shows do you like? What kind are these?
Kind comes from the word comes from the old English word Cynd, meaning generation, or in Germanic origin : relation of kin. It's a word that recognizes our ability to relate objects (people, animals, etc) together. As if we are family-- and really, everything on this earth is our family (BTW, 'ness' stands for state of, kindness= state of being akin to). That's why I have such a strong attachment to the idea of community.
Don't get me wrong-- My kids bicker and fight all the time. I am not saying that family is the example of kindness 24/7. Heck, I even have relatives that aren't speaking to each other at any given time. What it really comes down to is what you will do for family in general, in the name of family...because they are your kin. It means a non-judgmental supportive action from the relationship of being the same.
These people who gathered in Boston, came from all walks of life, different areas, and with different goals. But they all came to run in or support those in the marathon. The actions following bombing came from being family. The point is Kindness doesn't come from knowing where or who it's going to. It comes from inside us, recognizing that we are all, on some level, the same and creating a action that acknowledges it to the other person.
What is even more glorifying, is the fact the kindness (or anything emotionally provoked) snowballs. It may seem small at first, but with each rotation the power is growing. Just the day after the bombing, runners all over facebook pledged to wear a marathon shirt in honor of the victims. Next year, Boston will have more runners and supporters than it will ever had in the past, simply to stand up for our kind. If you want to see the brighter side of the tragic event, it is seeing how much kindness overpowers the destruction. It might knock us down, but someone pulls us up, and we rebuild. The good news is we don't need things like bombings for us to see the kindness we have. I that's what I feel is worth finding, and encouraging everyday.