“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 inside,
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 purchase bread,
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 every where
like a shadow or a friend.”
~ Naomi Shihab Nye
6 thoughts on “Kindness”
Reblogged this on Vic's Final Journey and commented:
The world at times seems so devoid of kindness. This is so beautiful. If but one person reads these beautiful words and understands the true meaning of kindness I would be ecstatic!
Thank you Bill!!
Thanks Tersia. Nice to see you again,
I always read your blog. As a matter of fact I read your posts every day. I just don’t comment as often as I want to.
Reblogged this on Losingórlarose.
We have very similar experiences with poets! Love Nye!!