When anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered was the first sign of civilization in a culture, the student expected her to tell him about a hook…pottery or a grindstone. Instead she replied that the first sign of civilization in ancient cultures was a thigh bone that had been broken and then healed. She explained that in the animal kingdom, an individual that breaks its leg, dies. It cannot escape danger, go to the river to drink, or find food. It becomes easy prey for predators. A healed thigh bone is the proof that someone looked after the person, splinted their leg, transported them to safety and helped them. Mead said that the starting point of civilization was helping someone in difficulty, evidence of solidarity.
The sharing of food, the provision of safe shelter, allowing people time to heal. These are examples of kindness. Kindness is a choice and sometimes comes with some personal cost.
- Kindness can be a principal, a value, an attitude…and is ‘love in action’.
- Kindness is having a soft heart toward another.
- Kindness is sharing your resources.
- Kindness is believing the best.
- Kindness is attempting to be attuned to another so that they feel seen and heard.
- Kindness is listening.
- Kindness is healing.
- Kindness shows mercy.
- Kindness gives value and respect to a person.
- Kindness is humble.
- Kindness is unconditional.
Kindness does not step over the boundaries of another person. Kindness is never patronizing.
Take some inspiration from animals saving other animals, in the following video. As you watch it, take the time to connect with what you see and allow yourself to encounter the felt sense of what it means to care for others. WATCH NOW
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
― John Holmes
He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.