Tuesday, November 03, 2015

About kindness...

Sitting here drinking my first bullet proof coffee (coffee containing coconut oil, butter, and thick cream - I also added a dash of cinnamon) and thinking about kindness.

There isn't enough kindness in my world.

Last night I lay awake for ages with a knot in my stomach, worried about going to uni. I have to start using my cane regularly again now that Robbie has gone away on his travels. I have been relying on him as my cane - not that he did so willingly, he was always berating me for not using it. My friend, Leigh, jokes about how I don't really need it, I'm not actually blind, I just want a dog, haha! She's a great mate, so I laugh along with her because I know there is no malice in her words.

But, I don't worry that other people think I'm a fraud. My vision loss this year has been quite dramatic. I now wear sunglasses inside and outside because I'm badly affected by glare - I'm wearing them now because I'm on the computer and computer glare is why I've been having so many migraines.

So, when I'm out with my cane, and then looking at my phone or iPad, or watch, I feel that people are looking at me and judging me. I feel they think I'm not 'blind enough' to use a cane. This feeling of being a fraud came up at the forum for the blind again last week. One participant, who has lived with low vision all her life says she refuses to apologise for other people prejudice - by prejudice, she literally means pre-judgement. Other people don't know what we experience, they can't know what we experience, as we can't know what they experience, or even what other blind people experience. So, I need to stop thinking about what other people might think about me using a cane.

My other worry has been about running into people who have been unkind to me in the past. People who just don't like me. They have their reasons, and those reasons are valid, to them. I may not agree with their reasons, but I can't change their thinking about me by disagreeing, so I just have to accept that they might choose to be unkind.

So, I have been thinking about kindness and how there isn't enough of it in my world.

In our house there is a lack of kindness. This is evident in how people speak to each other and how people treat eat other. There is too much selfishness, too much, 'That isn't my mess', 'He is annoying me', 'Leave me alone', 'Go away'. People don't treat each other with kindness. There is not enough empathy to create a harmonious household.

There is not enough kindness in my world, even at home.

So, I've been thinking about this. Thinking about how I can't make other people be kind. The only thing I CAN do is be kind, myself.

Honestly, I have not been kind. I can't expect other people to be kind to me when I am not kind. Even if I'm kind to a particular individual, the very act of not being kind to other people means I won't live in a kind world. To have enough kindness in my world, I have to CREATE more kindness.

I must make the kindness in my world.

I saw this last night.

This is my new religion. I am going to practice kindness and create more kindness in my world. I'm going to let go of my fears, what other people think of me may be true, or it may be a misconception. I'm going to let go of needing people to think of me in a certain way. I'm going to practice kindness, now.


EvieK said...

Hi Sif,
I'm a long-time reader so first of all thanks for all the interesting reading! I have recently begun to become Buddhist and a lot of the teachings are about kindness and 'cherishing others' which I think is a wonderful way of phrasing it! I also have two sons who I am encouraging to become kinder - I have been nagging them to do good deeds, not sure that's the right way to go, but also to try to be a lot kinder myself, to everyone. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I really love reading your writing and I am there with you on the kindness thing. I hope everything goes well with your cane and your guide dog.

Sif Dal said...

Thank you so much for commenting, Evie, I really appreciate comments from all readers, but especially long term readers.

I've been talking to my kids a lot about kindness, it's quite an interesting topic. My seven year old now tells me it is unkind to send him to bed, ever! It is also unkind to tell him not to get in his 10 year old brother's face, or into his things...

Kindness can be a perspective, I guess!

Good Job!