A Chapter on Kindness in your Rule of Life
What follows are quotes I have found in my commonplace book, a large leather-bound book in which I write down the quotes I find as I read. A commonplace book, of whatever form, is of great value when writing your Rule of Life since it both preserves close at hand your favorite sayings, and because those sayings you have collected say something about what you believe and what you want. Do not let not having a commonplace notebook or computer file stop or slow you down as you write a Rule of Life, but begin one now and as you write your chapters. Begin with googling quotations on the subject (remember to try to keep your chapter titles to one or two words (six is the limit but one is best!) and google the key word to see what people have said on the subject and what, of what they say, resonates with you. List them, and then begin to outline your chapter, and perhaps use one of two of the quotes that seem to fit into your chapter. Try not to simply string together a bunch of quotes for your chapter as then it is not really “your” chapter.
Consider these quotes, then outline your chapter on kindness and then tomorrow we will look at a sample chapter.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
― Desmond Tutu
“Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
– I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
– I shall fear only God.
– I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
– I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
– I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.”
― George Sand
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”
― Nelson Mandela
“How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day…You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
“Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature. They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings. They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.”
― Shannon L. Alder
“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
― Lao Tzu
“People shouldn’t have to earn kindness. They should have to earn cruelty.”
― Maggie Stiefvater, Forever
“Let us make one point, that we meet each other with a smile, when it is difficult to smile. Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family.”
― Mother Teresa
“I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.”
― Mother Teresa, A Gift for God: Prayers and Meditations
“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
― Naomi Shihab Nye, Words Under the Words: Selected Poems