The ever glorious and wonderful Emma Thompson reads “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye. Emma would like to dedicate this poem to our future selves, who we will be after this pandemic. What a glorious sentiment that is, filled to the brim with hope. What we need, what we always need, most.
Here is the prescription as written in @thepoetrypharmacy @thepoetryremedy.
Condition: Need for Kindness
There are times in life when everything we thought we could rely on fails, and everything we have wanted for ourselves dissolves in front of us. There are times, also, when we are confronted with the same suffering in others. Faced with the sheer scale of the misery of the world, it can be agonizingly difficult to engage meaningfully- and all too tempting simply to harden our hearts against it.
Yet, as Naomi Shihab Nye tells us in this inspiring poem, those moments- hard as they are- are also an opportunity, if we will only dare to open our hearts. For it is only by reckoning with true sorrow and desolation that we can come to understand exactly how necessary, how life-preserving, kindess really is, and then move towards it. First, however, we must learn true empathy. ‘Kindness’, after all, is just another word for love- and once we’ve acknowledged that the pain of others is exactly as searing as our own, what can we do but love them? What can we do but try to ease their burden? As Nye so wonderfully suggests, nothing else makes sense.
This is a challenge. Even at our lowest points, we must not ignore the suffering of others: we must not allow the solipsism of personal misery to cut us off from the great cloth of human feeling. Yet it is also a consolation: if we reject that isolation, we can take comfort in knowing that whatever loss lays us bare will also bring us into the presence of kindness.
By looking pain in the eye, we can find the kindness needed to reach out not only to others, but to ourselves, as well. It will tie our shoes for us; it will lead us back into the world when everything else has abandoned us. So gaze unflinchingly into the bright light of loss, and let kindness be unleashed from you like a soothing shadow.
Big Thank you Big Em! 🥰🕊🙌