Be kind to one another

After a friend died, I received a note from his family. It thanked me for my kindness.

On the front of the note card was a beautiful poem written by Naomi Shihab Nye. I’m sharing part of the poem:

Before you know what kindness really is

You must lose things,

Feel the future dissolve in a moment

Like salt in a weakened broth….

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….

And then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.

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3 Responses to “Be kind to one another”

  1. Leslie May 9, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    That’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing that.

  2. Liz May 20, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    I love Naomi Shihab Nye. I was introduced to her by my adviser at Hendrix several years ago. This is my favorite of her poems:

    Red Brocade:

    The Arabs used to say,

    When a stranger appears at your door,

    feed him for three days

    before asking who he is,

    where he’s come from,

    where he’s headed.

    That way, he’ll have strength

    enough to answer.

    Or, by then you’ll be

    such good friends

    you don’t care.

    Let’s go back to that.

    Rice? Pine Nuts?

    Here, take the red brocade pillow.

    My child will serve water

    to your horse.

    No, I was not busy when you came!

    I was not preparing to be busy.

    That’s the armor everyone put on

    to pretend they had a purpose

    in the world.

    I refuse to be claimed.

    Your plate is waiting.

    We will snip fresh mint

    into your tea.

    Her focus on kindness, hospitality and mutual respect is quite powerful and informed a great deal of my work and process during college.

    • Resolute_Woman May 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

      Liz, I am happy that you like Naomi Shihab Nye, too! Joy

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