In the “Karaṇīyamettā Sutta” (translated by The Amaravati Sangha), we hear the Buddha’s gentle voice from centuries past:
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world….
Piero Ferrucci, the philosopher and psychotherapist, writes in “The Power of Kindness”:
Kindness? It may strike us as absurd to even approach the subject: Our world is full of violence, war, terrorism, devastation. And yet life goes on precisely because we are kind to one another. No newspaper tomorrow will tell of a mother who read a bedtime story to her child, a father who prepared breakfast for his children, of someone who listened with attention, of a friend who cheered us up, of a stranger who helped us carry a suitcase.
Elsewhere in the book, Piero points out that “Kindness….itself might seem lightweight, and yet it is a central factor in our lives. It has surprising power to transform us, perhaps more than any other attitude or technique.”
In the autobiographical “Under the Eye of the Clock”, Christopher Nolan (who born with cerebral palsy could move his eyes and head alone) writes:
Such were Joseph’s teachers and such was their imagination that the mute boy became constantly amazed at the almost telepathic degree with which they read his facial expression, eye movements, and body language….It was at moments such as these that Joseph recognized the face of God in human form. It glimmered in their kindness to him, it glowed in their keenness, it hinted in their caring, indeed it caressed in their gaze.
In “Mystics of the Church”, Evelyn Underhill quotes from the journal of the French mystic Lucie-Christine who wrote wondering “how to make apparent” to people “that gentleness, that unspeakable peace” of the Divine.
Lucie answers herself: “….I have not found any other or more powerful way than kindness.”
Life, as know it, exists because, from billions of years ago, long before the first human showed up, the Sun has been burning — incessantly, patiently — an eternal act of kindness. This morning, as i write, the Face of God rises again.