"Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye

kindness-naomi-shihab-nye

 

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.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say: 

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

-Naomi Shihab Nye

DENA ARGYROPOULOS