Friday, 2 July 2010

Kindness and psychological flexibility

Further to my previous post about psychological flexibility, I read this, which seems to capture my meaning in far fewer words:

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.


Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.


Naomi Shahib Nye, “Kindness” (1994, 42–43)