The actual hard question:
What can we do in practical, “real world” behaviors
to create a future in which the default position
is to act with respect for all?
Being kind can be a moving meditation.
Not about self-depletion, energy deficit,
or even making a special effort.
It can be easy, what is pleasing, placid, cool, nonabrasive.
It can also be courageous, heroic, strength called forth.
“Kind” is different from “nice”.
Nice is conciliatory, making room
by being smaller or overly overt accommodation.
Kindness is more essential,
more honest, more responsible —
making room by inclusion.
Yes, we live in a world of damage and hostility.
Best response? Turn in the direction
of healing and peace.
That turning, deft and delicious
thrilling reel as active self-reward.
First, it may seem necessary,
to do the difficult work of leaving the guilt,
self-punishment, belief in misery.
That is certainly harder than one would surmise
from a more ideal perspective.
Tiny pleasures, endearing secret smiles,
nape of the cat’s back as it purrs.
Imagine yourself in the story;
bring it back with care and love.