Nurturing Kindness - January 15, 2021

Find time to listen and to connect with the good in yourself and others and to experience kindness.

Posted
January 17, 2021
Heart Graphic: "No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted." -Aesop

Nurturing Kindness - January 15, 2021

Find time to listen and to connect with the good in yourself and others and to experience kindness.

Posted
January 17, 2021
JFS Friends – 
In the Jewish calendar it seems that the High Holidays are always arriving either early or late but Shabbat reliably comes just in time. This week I have been contemplating the words of Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel as a way to prepare for Shabbat:

“To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.”

The work week is filled with deadlines and decisions and there is pressure towards action. Shabbat comes as a beautiful respite from this – it is a time that we can listen with kindness and an open heart free from the pressure to decide, do and to act. This act of unhurried listening without an agenda creates the opportunity to find connections and see the humanity in others that may at first seem very different from ourselves.

Plato said:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

This quotes is an important caution that the behavior we see is only the tip of the iceberg that is visible above the water line. Below the surface, in each person’s life are experiences, challenges, fears and burdens that we cannot see and cannot know about unless we take the time to make a connection and listen with the intent to learn, connect and understand.

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov spoke beautifully about the possibilities when we open our hearts and try to connect with others:
“Let the Good in me connect with the good in others, until the world is transformed through the compelling power of love”

I hope that over the weekend, whether observing Shabbat is part of your practice or not, that you are able to find time to listen and to connect with the good in yourself and others and to experience kindness. Showing kindness - first to ourselves - and forgiving ourselves for the areas where we have fallen short, helps us be more compassionate and open to showing kindness to others.
"Kindness in worlds creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." - Lao Tzu

Shabbat Shalom,
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Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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