A View from the Other Side

Observations from the winged dude next door.

Archive for the tag “kindness”

A Good Day

Not a perfect day. There was still frustration, not everything worked out. But… a good day.

A book arrived that we’d been wanting to get for a while now, The Brotherhood of Angels and Men by Geoffrey Hodson, a reprint of the original written in 1927. Really looking forward to seeing what he said about all this nearly 90 years ago.

More possibilities for my extended family shaking out of various trees. Some of the past fruit wasn’t any good, but you never know until it comes and you do what you can with it. Just the possibilities are good things. Blessings in themselves.

Maybe most importantly I helped two people better understand the spirit guides with them. That was pretty big for me. In talking later with my brothers, I remembered times that weren’t so good. Where different people betrayed me, ridiculed me, and accused me of things I hadn’t done. There have been a lot. Some people have said to me, “All those people can’t be wrong, it’s obviously you.” Which rubbed salt in a lot of cuts back then.

What they didn’t understand is that I set people off sometimes. I’m a catalyst. Things happen just because I’m in the room. If someone is feeling uncomfortable, it’s magnified. I’m also a mirror. People see their stuff projected onto me and looking back at them, and think that I’m the liar, I’m the one accusing them of the same things they’re accusing me of. I try to be as gentle as I can, but some people can’t handle looking at themselves and their actions, and lash out at me.

But, over the past couple of days, I was able to help two separate people, and they said such kind things to me. They were grateful, and I had genuinely helped them understand new things about them and their guide. That’s what I’m here for. To help people. I never mean to hurt anyone. Sometimes I get frustrated, or sometimes a bit of tough love is what they need, and I understand that I come across too blunt or even harsh sometimes. But I don’t lie. I don’t deceive. I try to be as kind and understanding as I’m able, because that’s what helps people the most. Their kind words to me helped undo some of the damage of those old encounters from years ago that time had already blunted.

Kindness. Gratitude. Love. Helping people. Time with my family. A bit of successful work. It was a good day.

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One Act of Kindness

don't sweat the small stuffFrom the Kate Taney on the Huffington Post:

“…And, I lost it. I broke into big, fat, silent, hopeless tears. There was no sound, just pain enveloping my face and dense petals of teardrops sopping onto the man’s lap sitting in front of me. He was dressed in blue from head to toe; a heavy beat blasting through his earphones. I saw him shift a bit and look up towards me. His big brown eyes looked concerned, as if he was beginning to feel what I was feeling; as if it hurt him to see me this way. I wiped my cheek with my shoulder and tried to hold my breath to keep from feeling anything, but despite my best efforts, I was crumbling into myself like a little girl told to stop crying.

“I saw him move about to get something out of his pocket: a big wad of brown paper napkins. Peeling one out, he handed it to me and nodded his head to go on and take it. Of course, his action, with all its simple thoughtfulness was so beautiful it only made me weep more. “How kind,” I thought. “Where has he been tonight? Where is he going? I wonder what his struggles are like…” He reached into his pocket again, this time pulling out a pen. When he was done writing, he stood up and gestured to his seat for me to sit, holding out the wad of napkins. I was hesitant to take it at first, but with no words he insisted I accept them. So, I did. He smiled reassuringly, turned his back and walked through the sliding doors.

“Some people believe in angels or guardians or signs from things or people outside of ourselves to awaken something dormant within us, to remind us of something, to lead us somewhere, or to someone. Perhaps, he was an angel… or maybe, he was just a NYC stranger who can still allow himself to feel and be felt. All I know is, I will keep this note with me forever, I will pass it along throughout my life and I will look at his words to remind me that everything will be OK, that doubts and fears are normal but are not useful, that compassion is king and that empathy, and random acts of kindness still exist.”

The Hidden 36 Righteous Ones

Excerpt from Rabbi Zwerin’s Kol Nidre Sermon, September 15, 2002:

It is said that at all times there are 36 special people in the world, and that were it not for them, all of them, if even one of them was missing, the world would come to an end. The two Hebrew letters for 36 are the lamed, which is 30, and the vav, which is six. Therefore, these 36 are referred to as the Lamed-Vav Tzadikim.

crowdAnd who, we might ask, are these righteous ones? Well, the legend maintains that they are each extremely modest and upright, often concealing their identity behind a mask of ignorance and poverty, and usually earning their livelihood by the sweat of their brow.

The Lamed-Vav Tzaddikim are also called the Nistarim (concealed ones). In our folk tales, they emerge from their self-imposed concealment and, by the mystic powers, which they possess, they succeed in averting the threatened disasters of a people persecuted by the enemies that surround them. They return to their anonymity as soon as their task is accomplished, “concealing” themselves once again in a Jewish community wherein they are relatively unknown.

The lamed-vavniks, scattered as they are throughout the Diaspora, have no acquaintance with one another. On very rare occasions, one of them is “discovered” by accident, in which case the secret of their identity must not be disclosed. The lamed-vavniks do not themselves know that they are one of the 36. In fact, tradition has it that should a person claim to be one of the 36, that is proof positive that he is certainly not one. Since the 36 are each exemplars of anavah, humility, having such a virtue would preclude against one’s self-proclamation of being among the special righteous. The 36 are simply too humble to believe that they are one of the 36.

The question that this mystical account always raises in my mind is why are such people needed to keep the world aright? Can not the world maintain its balance out of the amalgam of seven billion people, the vast majority of whom are good? Certainly, there are exquisite souls among the faithful of all religions who exude goodness and righteousness in their daily deeds.

In most religions such people are called saints or pious ones or and they are viewed as being holy — recognized as unique and set apart. In the Catholic church such people are honored for their service to the community and for the miraculous deeds they performed or for the visions they experienced. In eastern religions, there are extraordinary teachers — swamis, gurus, bahgwans — who by their self-discipline and their instruction have a profound influence on their disciples. Around the world, there are shamans and healers — medicine men and women — pastors, priests, thinkers, scholars, survivors, care-givers, rescuers, counselors, donors of time, builders of community, charitable money people, donors of body parts even … selfless souls who plunge into swirling rivers, dart into burning buildings, pilot choppers and tugs under the worst of circumstances — do such awesome and fearless things as to leave us all agape.

There are those who for personal or religious reasons maintain keep a constant watch against lust, greed, anger, attachment, and ego — who in their daily life, consistently try to stay above the influence of self aggrandizement and amoral attachments. And there are those who believe in and practice daily living in peace, with love and kindness toward all, and in harmony with nature and neighbors.

In Jewish folk tales, Elijah is depicted as a beggar in the streets waiting for one sweet person to look past his rags and wounds and offer him a kindness — a drop of drink, a morsel of food, a shelter from the elements.

But such is not the condition of the 36 — the lamed-vav tzadikim. They are not saints; they are not holy people, they are not recognized or known even to themselves. They simply are what they are and in their very being, they somehow sustain the world!

Imagine what would happen if every co-worker, and manager, and boss, and CEO were to think that somewhere in the organization or in the office or in the store, some field worker, secretary, nurse, custodian, is a lamed-vavnik or a messiah, or a guru, or a saint. No one could discount someone else, or back-bite, or invent stories, or even gossip about another. And how could one even consider perverting the audit, or treating themselves to a huge interest free loan, or taking millions from a troubled company as a farewell bonus.

And no one could imagine firing thousands of fellow workers as a first step solution to a corporate problem — and no one could imagine dropping a pink slip on a co-worker who just might be one of the 36 … two days before a holiday.

Just imagine what would happen in our families if we entertained the notion that one of us had inner, spiritual talents yet to be recognized. What would happen if we treated each other all the time with dignity and nobility? That would mean no yelling and no put-downs, and no putting off chores and tasks that others rely upon. It would mean showing concern for parents at all times; it would mean not taking children for granted; it would mean letting each other share in our thoughts and feelings without fear of being discounted or embarrassed or ignored. It would nurture patience and trust and faith. The word “family” might even come to mean something other than … obligation, stress, and car pooling.

And what might happen if we treated ourselves as if we were one of the 36? We might be, you know. So long as we don’t think that we are, we are still in the running. Perhaps we might just take life a bit easier — be less prone to criticize and over-evaluate. If we were one of the 36, why, the world rests on our shoulders. Where we go, it goes; how we act shapes it and influences the spheres. Our every little act of tolerance, tzedakah, kindness, patience, friendship … our every commitment, each positive emotion, even a smile can change the world for the better.

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