Sometimes I storm around, being Angry At Humanity. I'm Disappointed that Some People would be so stupid as to Think As They Do about (Education, Gay Marriage, Health Care, Social Responsibility, etc). I'm Horrified and Chagrined by the human race. I think in Capital Letters, damnit.
But then, something beautiful happens, and I am proved Wrong. I mean, I still maintain some resentment over all the People who don't Think As They Should, but it's hard to find that resentment under the thick layer of warm fuzzies.
I had just such an experience a few months ago at the Turkish Delight place down at Pike Place Market (ya know the one?). I go there allthetime, and eat lots of Turkish Delight. On one particular occasion, I was just headed out the door when a man came in. He carried a large backpack, and had an unkempt appearance. He approached me with deference. "Excuse me," he said, "Would you buy me some food?"
I reached for my wallet, and turned to face the counter. Behind it, I could see the woman who works there already scooping hot Turkish food into different containers. "I got it," she told me, and waved me away.
It's so little. It was a moment, nothing more than that. But it was so, so lovely. It was easy to share food, easy to give away just a small amount, and so she did. That was it.
Another lovely moment took place in my own kitchen, several years ago.
My sister has a lot of different challenges; physical, emotional, behavioural, you name it. Nothing comes easily for her, but she is a cheerful, friendly sort who is very kind and outgoing. A couple of years ago, I overheard a conversation between Glitter and a 7-year-old, River. I started paying attention just as Glitter was explaining, "I'm disabled." River looked over in surprise. "You are?" she asked. "Yes," my sister replied matter-of-factly. "Physically and mentally." I waited for River's response, anxious about what the answer might be. Would she recoil? Would Glitter's feelings be hurt? Would I have to lead a short seminar on the importance of respecting others?
River just nodded. "That's ok." she said. "I'm not very good at spelling."
That is kindness, guys. That is exactly what kindness is-- being accepting, respectful, and inclusive.
I'll just be spending the rest of my life weeping.