Poetry Series: Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye


As I’ve mentioned, one Silver Lining of having had FBC is a brand new engagement with poetry. Until now, it has never been my thing. But, for some new and magical reason, I get it.  Not all of it, certainly.  Many poems still leave me blurry eyed and confused; however, the majority give me a warm, cozy and happy feeling inside.  It’s as if a new voice is speaking to me. And I’m listening.

I’m even (dare I say it?) getting a 40,000 foot view of some poems. Like the following one about kindness, for example. In raising our daughter, a/k/a Sweetly Six, kindness is the one value that rises above all else. As a parent, I feel like there is nothing greater or more important to instill in a child’s life than kindness.

We have conversations about kindness — what it is and why it’s important — every day. Every single day. Conversations often go like this: “Being kind means that you don’t expect anything in return. You’re kind because it’s the right thing to do and it makes the world a better place.” An amazing Silver Lining as a Mommy is having the great honor of witnessing Sweetly Six’s kindness. It makes my heart sing.

When I was sick (and even now, quite frankly), I have had the great and amazing opportunity to experience the most astounding acts of kindness. I continue to be amazed by the generosity of loved ones and strangers. Not a day goes by that I am not filled with gratitude for the omnipresent kindness in my life.

I hope that this poem impacts you as much as it has me (Silver Lining!).

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  1. says

    Thanks so much Naomi- it would be great if you could register and post this link on http://www.cansurviving.com on the Music and Meditation forum- it’s a free one-stop shop for body, mind and soul, for those wishing to survive vibrantly after the trauma of cancer diagnosis- and also not just for cansurvivors! We’d love you to join us….

  2. Sharon says

    My Mother, who held grudges and wouldn't speak to anyone when she was angry, taught me to always turn the other cheek. I remember back to age three and throughout my childhood being told that no matter how mean anyone was to me, I was always to be kind in response. So difficult for a child to grasp and I remember how unfair it all was… being indignant about just how unfair and not appreciating her expectation that I should be the better person. Mom grew up during the depression and knew only too well how unfair life can be.
    I lost my Mom when I was just 29. I am now 60. This is my most cherished memory of her. She taught me always to be kind… what a wonderful gift for her to give me. I am so thankful to her for this treasure.

  3. Paula says

    Dear Hollye,
    Such an intense and beautiful poem.
    I already knew it thanks to Maureen Abood's blog ( Rose water and orange blossoms) and as I told her:
    Your writing is your soul.