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This was originally published on iRest

Kindness is a tangible manifestation of love. It is the active outward and inward expression of one’s heart. Kindness is how we bring love, compassion and empathy to life in the world. As Buddha said, “If you could feel all of the suffering of the world, all you could be is kind.”

Kindness comes in different degrees. It starts with being aware of someone’s suffering so that you can do something about it. Initially, we may “perform” an act of kindness for recognition, but even that initial experience begins to plant the seeds of kindness within us. Through continued expressions of kindness and a deepening ground of empathy, the spark of true selfless service grows. We begin to taste the more we open ourselves to feel the entire spectrum of human experience – the peace and the pain – we naturally know the right action in each moment. Life becomes an expression of connectivity even in moments where conflict may be required to return a situation to its natural harmony. It is in this connection where we find both the human and divine expressions of kindness, love made real.

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Alexis Miller