Sunday, May 17, 2015

Kindness


We take them by the hand and lead them to the front of the line.
There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.

Dalai Lama

I flew out of Pearson the other day and found myself locked in a endless security line. Hundreds of passengers shuffled along the switchback chatting quietly. It was a peaceful line, a community of sorts. I was moments away from a pre-security check when I heard two voices from behind.

"Excuse me please, my plane, I'm late, please excuse me."

Looking back I saw two woman dressed in gorgeous traditional African garb. Their English was broken, yet the anxious tone was universally clear. A wave of human kindness surged trough the line as people waved the women forward. I too obliged and stepped aside with a smile showing my concern.

Our little makeshift community was warmed with universal human kindness. A wake of gratitude trailed the two women as they moved forward closer and closer to their goal.

And then a curveball derailed the goodness.

A bored security agent just in front of me stopped the women. When they explained they were late for their plane the guard replied in  monotone

"It's not my problem" and then averted his eyes.

They were stopped cold. The warm glow of human kindness shattered and all about people glared at the guard.  The kindness of hundreds derailed by the misguided evil of a single individual.  We watched the balance beam tilt toward evil.

And then, as if on cue, another security guard further up the line who had witnessed the evil approached the women. He ignored the first security guard completely and waved to the women

"Follow me" he said, and escorted them to the front of the line.

The running community is like that security line. We perpetuate kindness, we show concern for those in troubled times, we hold our friends' hands when they are frightened, we give support when they are confused, we welcome them into our midst when they feel they do not belong.

And when they are faced with insidious evil, when the pain becomes unbearable, when they feel the walls crumbling, we take them by the hand and lead them to the front of the line.

Reach out to someone who needs you today. Sometimes all we can do is tell them we care. And sometimes that's enough to make it through another day.

Make it a good day for them to be alive, one day at a time.

Mike
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