I am tired, I am wearied by life. Please read that carefully, I did not say I am weary of life, I am weary of everything that oppresses it from the hand of the living.
I wouldn’t feel or be so oppressed if life wasn’t worth living, even with nothing to care about, no love, joy, peace, kindness, understanding and the simple fact of the miracle of existing at all. Finding a way is always hard, that’s nothing new yet it seldom stops anyone from seeking.
I am weary because life is so worth living it hurts.
This time, right now, is a life changer. Every good and bad thing that ever happens only happens because of life and life is, without question, hard at times.
It’s time to take stock, what will each one of us do going forward? For me, at the ripe old age of 69, there is just one thing that will light my way for the time I have left, as it has done for most of my life, if never so purposefully as now – kindness.
It is the only thing I can see that can create the future of our dreams and make them a reality. Kindness is a way of being. It’s transformative, restorative and beautiful. What it creates impacts both the giver and the receiver.
I used to teach in Youth Work that you can never know when an act of kindness given may be the first time that particular life has been touched by kindness. The reaction to it can be violent, joy or sorrow, because it strips away all pretence, all posturing and ego fuelled play acting and leaves you naked and vulnerable, like a child touched by its mother for the first time.
It is a moment that opens out life into possibilities. It is the single thing that has changed who I am, it entirely rewrote my internal life and is what eventually, after many years of struggle, brought me home to myself.
I don’t have an answer for the monstrosity of corruption that bedevils all our lives by people whose only concern is their own self centred worth, exploiting others, denying them any sense of worth or value.
I do have an answer for how to oppose it and change it one life at a time. Kindness is the courage to stand up for something better. Like, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mahatma Gandhi or the uncountable acts of kindness happening every day and every moment of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kindness is not something that interests the mainstream media, it’s not a good story, which means it doesn’t sell newspapers. It may seem that the ugliness of the world is insurmountable and unconquerable, but that isn’t the real story. The real story is that kindness is surmountable yet unconquerable, it’s the real beating heart of the world, from the nurturing love of a mother to dying to protect life to the smallest gift to another.
Kindness is also a choice, to protect, oppose, preserve, sustain, encourage and inspire. It’s how we learn to respect life and it is the key to happiness and for many, and I was one, to discover joy for the first time in a life beset with difficulties, not least, mental illness.
It was kindness that eventually brought me out of depression and gave me a second chance to live. It’s what puts stars in your life, those beacons of light you can never forget, the truly wondrous people who leave the greatest impact on life and living.
So great is kindness, it is the one thing I can see that is truly worth living for, and worth dying for. Rage and fury are nothing, though incredibly destructive, without kindness and yet are often key in facing an intolerable injustice and determining to find a solution.
My life is dotted with heroes, worthy of the name, they may be unsung, but they live in me and in all I do, even writing and these words right here, right now. They have inspired me to live.
I am blessed by life, kissed by kindness, and whatever strength I have it has come through kindness (it’s something worth getting out of bed for), there is nothing quite like it in all the known and, I am certain, unknown universe.
Whatever the problem, kindness is always part of the solution, if we choose to put it there.
Keith Ordinary Guy. 01 June 2020.