The Wisdom of Kindness
‘In a world of sharp words, stony glances, concrete hearts and hardened minds, be the softest place’ Jen Brady
A friend’s 3-year-old granddaughter had recently learnt to ride her scooter. She loved it. She’d ride it and clean it daily. Keeping it in her bedroom lest it might be stolen away.
One morning, the little girl realised a small spider had made its way through her window and had set up home on one of the handlebars, weaving a web amongst the pink tassels that adorned it.
For this little girl, it was an easy decision to leave the spider and forget riding the scooter that day. After all, she didn’t want to upset the spider who’d taken up temporary residence. What she didn’t expect was that it would be 10 days before the spider finally decided to make a dash for the world outside her bedroom window. Yet throughout, the little girl kept her resolve not to make the spider homeless. In fact, she would sing to the spider to make it feel loved.
It’s a simple story of kindness, but how many of us would have forgone the childhood pleasure of a scooter ride for 10 days? Especially when we could so easily have popped the spider out of the window? For me, it’s a story of compassion beyond words.
It’s not for the first time that children have shown the power and wisdom of a more harmonious, peaceful existence with other creatures.
We may know the importance of empathy and understanding but in a busy modern world, it’s all too easy not to think of others, be they human beings, or the smallest of species on our planet.
These days, there seems to be so much darkness in the world. Wars, killings, misery involving both human and non-human animals. It can all lead to a feeling of being powerless, of making us feel tiny and our problems insignificant.
Yet, there are things that are in our circle of control. Consciously following a kinder path is one of them. Kindness has the power to change the lives of those we touch. How vital then is it, that we act with kindness to prevent human and animal misery, rather than seeking to avenge it.
It’s not easy to hold no blame, nor bitterness or resentment towards others. However, there is something uniquely wonderful about a person who grows from their struggles and uses the lessons from their experiences to spread wisdom and kindness.
It’s the act of kindness for fellow creatures that share our planet, that really stirs the soul. I find inspiration in those who dedicate their lives to the defence, rescue or support of animals. Those who recognise that animals have no voice. They are caring, compassionate and unconditionally kind.
Here at Compassion, I feel blessed to share my working days with such people.
The misery inflicted on sentient creatures through industrial farming is huge. It’s not just unkind, it’s cruel beyond words. And all too often hidden behind closed doors. I am honoured to work with so many people who campaign tirelessly to end it. And eternally grateful to all of our supporters who help us spread the word about kindness and compassion across the world.
This World Kindness Day and everyday, let’s remember that kindness really is the key to a better world. It has a chain reaction. All it needs is one of us to start it.
Note: Philip will be speaking at Kindfest 2023 on Friday 10th November, on ‘Kindness and Animals’.
The festival is an online celebration for #WorldKindnessDay, and is run by volunteers with profits going to charity. It runs from 1-7pm and the link is here https://www.teamkind.org.uk/
Please do join us, it promises to be a wonderful and very special event.
Main Image: Orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi, lies in the arms of her caregiver, Andre Bauma, before dying days later on September 26 2021 after a prolonged illness | Credit Brent Stirton