The Impact of Kindness and Compassion

The Impact of Kindness and Compassion October 18, 2019

impact kindness compassion
Photo by Thomas Curryer on Unsplash

Today I dug out a rose that had been terribly neglected, to transplant.  It was difficult to dig out because it had been there a long time and the roots were very deep. There were branches and a big stone that I had a hard time getting my shovel through. Once I had dug it out, I had a big pot filled with faded sunflowers that I had to dig out also, so that I could place this neglected rose in to help it survive. I dug the hole in the pot so I could carefully lay out the roots, and I placed the no-longer-neglected rose into the pot, spreading out its roots tenderly and filling the pot with nutritious black soil, then taking a bucketful of water and pouring it on top of the rose.

I felt I was not only taking care of the rose, but that I was also taking care of myself and healing my own soul.  I had neglected myself through bad eating habits, which caused pain throughout my body. I had abused my mind for years with tormented thoughts of a traumatic childhood and young adulthood. Gardening is very good for mental health. Even though as an older woman, still I wonder why people want to hurt each other, to take advantage of each other.  I also know that I have hurt others as a result of misguided bad decisions. Why do we hurt each other and those we love? Why do we hurt those who are less fortunate than ourselves?

I have a very good life now. My husband gave me this fountain, which consists of pinchers pouring into each other. It reminds me of good memories of growing up in Massachusetts of my childhood home, where a little brook cascaded over rocks and made a rushing sound. I used to catch salamanders, frogs and tadpoles. I used to catch grasshoppers and butterflies, and then let them go.

Why do we hurt each other and those we love? Why do we hurt those who are less fortunate than ourselves?

These are good memories. There are also the bad memories of watching my brothers and sisters hide within the doghouse and beneath the bed, afraid of being taken away, and one brother never to be seen again.

I sit within the twilight. The golden sunlight is glowing in the green leaves, and the tops of the palm trees sway in the wind like silver tinsel. Wind chimes dance and make a melodious sound.

Why do we hurt each other? Why do we bring unwanted children into the world and allow them to be raised in poverty? Why do we have unnecessary wars, where we destroy each other and destroy whole cultures? It is a reflection of what we do with our own families. If we hurt and abuse our own children or each other, it affects generations to come. If we destroy a race, country, or culture, that race will take it out on someone else, as abused children take it out as adults though drug addiction, alcoholism, mental illness, or through abusing others. One generation will affect the other. One race, one culture will abuse the other. One loses one’s sense of conscience when one is struggling to survive.

I was lucky to marry into a good family and that my loss and traumatic childhood did not destroy me. I owe it to my belief in God.  People segregate themselves and create all these rules and regulations to deal with God but do they really know God. I had an intimate relationship with God in order to survive. I would not be here if it were not for my belief in God.

If we hurt and abuse our own children or each other, it affects generations to come.

People live by rules, rituals and regulations they impose on themselves. They fight over what they believe God should be and how He should be worshiped. People abuse and fight over this in the name of God, and judge others for this. Who knows what is in the soul of another person? Our belief in God should make us better people. He is the most compassionate and kind, and to live in His example, we should live that way. To me, He is nothing like us, yet He embodies all that we are, or should be. He is supreme Love, and that exists in us as well.

We ask ourselves why there is war and poverty, why is the world going to end because of climate change. We abuse the Earth as well, and we are the ones who are responsible. We did this all to ourselves, through ego or selfishness.

I have a sense of responsibility. I stayed home to raise my children. I fixed three meals a day for my children and husband, and do whatever they ask me to do. My husband is very good, and he deserves it. Even though I am a practicing artist and have a life outside my home, I have a sense of responsibility that is ingrained in me. I stayed home to give my children the childhood I did not have, and through them, overcome my childhood. For a very short time, I greatly despaired over the fact that I could not always protect them from the cruelty of the world, or even if I did something unintentionally myself.

I thought of all this as I carefully dug out the tender roots of my neglected rose. I felt as if I was soothing myself and rewriting the script with my heart and head. I am so grateful to God that He saved me. The fountain resonates like the rushing sound of a brook, and angels are dancing within the wind through the wind chimes.

Our belief in God should make us better people. He is the most compassionate and kind, and to live in His example, we should live that way.

There are many more chapters of my life; rather than dragging along the old pages of my life that I wish to be rewritten, I knew to change the script in my heart. I should learn forgiveness bring joy instead of pain to the ones that I love. To rewrite my script, and to forgive those who hurt me, will change generations. To be selfless and giving will have an effect on generations. Kindness wins. Selflessness wins.

God’s signs dance within the purples and the pinks of twilight, as in my childhood. His compassion descends with the clouds, to touch the earth with tender love. There is an Oneness to all, and His mercy blesses us all. The fact we get up every morning and have a routine. One day there will be no routine to go through. The house and garden will be unattended and empty. Then we will have to face our conscience of what we done on this earth, and what we have done to affect generations to come. That will be our regret. Yet if we are kind, that will be our light after we are long gone.

There are many battles to be fought within the soul.  Every human being is like a rose, to be nourished. Some are like my neglected rose, which will never grow or bloom again without being tenderly cared for or noticed. This morning, I look at the rose and it has not wilted. It has a chance to survive.

About Stephenie Bushra Khan
Stephenie Bushra Khan is a converted Muslim, a poet, and local artist in Temecula, California. She is originally from Winchendon, Massachusetts. You can read more about the author here.

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