I am one of many trying to figure out how to live in a world that is so full of anger, sorrow and negativity. It is hard to read the newspaper or watch the news without feeling some despair. This is accompanied by feelings of hopelessness. What can I do to make a difference? I don’t want to adopt the hateful speech and manners of those whose ideas I oppose. That just adds fuel to the fire.
I did find a poem that lifted my soul and reminded me that nothing we do is inconsequential. We either increase the love and kindness within our world, or we diminish it.
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