An Ode to Kindness

Let us not mistake compassion for agreement

At its best compassion is deep respect and understanding

Let us not reduce it to big smiles and to an overly polite attitude

Merely not wanting to rock the boat is not compassion.

Let us wake up to the ways we are fooling ourselves

And take responsibility for everything that we are

Including the darkness we are so afraid to face.

Let us first and foremost be nicer to ourselves

For not having measured up to those high standards we admire so much

For kindness starts with our own very selves, right at home

And then and only then it radiates outwards.