Talk about irony. I have just finished reading “Anyway, the Paradoxical Commandments” and “Random Acts of Kindness” by the Editors of Conari Press. You may be familiar with the Paradoxical Commandments. Written by Kenneth Keith in 1968, the Paradoxical Commandments are a call to live life in a thoughtful, non-reactionary way. They remind me of Jesus’ commandments to love your enemies, turn the other cheek and to help without thought of repayment or recognition. The wisdom in this book is like shining a light into our dark, crazy world. It is not easy, sometimes these actions go against our very nature. But they move us closer to the people we were meant to be. You can find the book in your public library, at Barnes and Noble or at Amazon. To read the commandments in their entirety go to, www.paradoxicalcommandments.com.
Random Acts of Kindness was started in 1982 by California peace activist Ann Herbert. She wrote on a restaurant placemat, “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” Seems rather counter-cultural after yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. What is also ironic is that yesterday, 11/11/13 was World Kindness Day. At times like this we might be tempted to curl up into our shell and seal ourselves off, but if we do they’ve won. If we strike back, they’ve won. We are called to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, in our world, meekness is interpreted as weakness. But is it? When we’ve been hurt or wronged it is so easy to fight back and lash out. But in the final analysis, what have we gained? The old saying comes to mind, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” When I graduated from high school many years ago (many, many years ago) we idealistically sang, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”. And, you know what, we meant it! I still think about the lyrics of that song. I have to remain convinced that our situation is not hopeless. I’m firmly convinced that all the little acts of kindness we do will shine out and make a huge difference. I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but I think that it is important that we not get poisoned by the evil in the world.
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.