Friday, January 8, 2010

A Little Kindness

"In nature there's no blemish but the mind; None can be called deformed but the unkind." ~Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

This also from Twelfth Night, as was the Passport Stamp that Viaggiatore and I posted recently, on Twelfth Night. There is a tender sweet irony, a relevancy to this wonderful work of Shakespeare's, and the celebration for which it is named. Twelfth Night is the eve of Epiphany; the day Christians celebrate the magi, or three wise men, finding and worshipping the Lord Jesus, twelve days after His birth.

This line from Shakespeare's comedy is a true and solemn thought to consider. "None can be called deformed but the unkind." The wise men were very kind indeed to Jesus and His family; giving gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold. One could reflect on the whole of the story and with some introspect, we find quite a bit more than just the kindness given.

We find faith. These men traveled vast distances, guided by a brilliant star and their unswerving faith that they would find an infant King. That faith brought them safely through a brief visit with the wicked King Herod and caused them to return to their lands via a different route so as to avoid further interaction with Herod.

We find hope. They were filled with such a strong hope that it compelled them to travel so very far from their homes to see with their own eyes the miracle that they believed had been given them, and the world. I believe that the only thing stronger than hope is love.

We find humbleness. Three wise men. Three kings. Three men of high estate, whatever their true titles may have been... kneeling to an infant of poor means. There is much to be said for that; wisdom in knowing that station does not define self, and that there are greater things around and about us which may come in unexpected forms- things that we might miss if we believe ourselves too great.
This brings us back to kindness. What is the cost of a kind word, a gentle sincere smile, the warm touch of a hand or an arm about anothers shoulders when the world is heavily laden with itself? It is nothing spent and priceless given. It is the herald of love.
It is in short supply, too, I think. Viaggiatore and I ask this of you, if you've read this, to give an unexpected kindness today, as many times as you are inspired to do so, for we believe that if you see the good it has done the first time, you will desire to experience that again, and we encourage you to do so... spread it. Like the warmth of the sun, let it flow from you without ceasing into the lives of anyone you meet, especially when it is done to answer an unkindness. Especially then.
If you can find no kindness to give, then let silence bind your tongue and stillness hold your expressions, actions and reactions so that an unkindness does not escape you.
It is a new year, a beginning; again, an opportunity to reassert to ourselves that we can be the people we want to be. It's really so very easy to do, and each step makes it easier and more delightful as we go.
May this Twelfth Night be the star that lights your way this year; a year filled with faith, hope, kindness, humbleness and above all, love.


Molly said...

Lovely words to launch a new year. So true that unkindness deforms us.I shall strive to follow your suggestion!

Vesper said...

a year filled with faith, hope, kindness, humbleness and above all, love - Let us hope this for everyone in the world. Thank you for your wonderful post, Scarlett.

rel said...

Your request is easy for me, for nothing can describe me better.
Always a ready smile, a kind word, a hug or hand on your back. And always encouragement.

Have a great day. And each subsequent day as God may grant you.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Did ever a psychological genius compare to Shakespeare? I think not.

I believe it is easier to be kind when one has faith and hope. The faith need not be in an official deity but simply in our own ability to be good and do good, which will give hope to us all.

A perfectly lovely post, Scarlett.