Loving-Kindness

According to Wikipedia‘s article regarding loving-kindness in Judaism:

Loving-kindness is used as an English translation for the Hebrew word חסד (chesed). This term is used often in the book of Psalms, and refers to acts of kindness, motivated by love. It is used primarily in reference to God, rather than people. One example is found in Psalm 107, where verse 43 reads:

“Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the LORD.” [11]

The term is also used in Pirkei Avot, with the quote “The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of God, and deeds of loving-kindness.”


I’m not a very kind person sometimes. I am downright irascible (easily angered).

I love the word irascible. It reminds me of a word that Mark Twain would utter about Pap.

I love words. No matter their meaning, good or bad. Especially when they perfectly define an attitude, feeling or experience.

I mumbled yesterday morning about applying my makeup for an interview. “Best apply a modicum of makeup, so as not to look a fright.”

Who talks like that? I do. Mostly. Enough to confuse and irritate the natives. Much to the cringe and chagrin of my associates.

“Who are you?” question my befuddled, and mildly-impressed, acquaintances.

A writer.

But I found another person who loves words and their sounds as much as I do and I married him. And together we sound like a ridiculous Noel Coward play. But some people like that.

As much as I love words, I don’t love people. I am not full of loving-kindness. I cling to loving-kindness with desperate fingers, but cannot claim it. I want to love others but I so often fail. Strange. Because I think, at the core, writers do love people. Maybe from afar? I have to love people to love words because the words are describing the lovely people. What the people are doing, where they are going, how they are loving or not loving.

Maybe I should write about animals. LOL

Loving-kindness, as a theory, is often a writer’s goal. How often they achieve loving-kindness IRL is a Hemingwayan mystery. We write about the ideal, but do we live it? I don’t usually. But, in my writing and in life, I strive for it. Is that enough though?

I do tend to write about my successes of loving-kindness and not my failures. I try to be fair in that, but writing can often be the Facebook of experience. We only see the shining examples of behavior and not the gritty underbelly of daily meanderings.

Well, in the interest of writing fair, I fail at loving others, especially my husband, on almost a daily basis. That’s the truth. I snap and snip at the slightest pressure, but mainly because…no. I won’t make excuses.

I can be a ripe jerk.

I’m an alligator. Waiting. And if you trip? I attack.

If you trigger my snap warning, I’ll eat you alive. Once an alligator bites, he can’t let go. Even if he wanted to. And why would he want to? Those jaws are locked. And loaded. Clamps down on your neck, thrashes around, and down you go. Drowned. Ground into a fine hamburger. If you whimper, complain or try to negotiate? It’ll just take longer.

I don’t want to be an alligator. But when you grow up in a swamp, do you have a choice?

I’m evolving. At least I feel guilty about it now.

I have brilliant moments of loving-kindness shine through and save me. For others and from others. But maybe that’s most people’s experience. Those are the moments we live for. And when there’s not enough of those moments, sometimes, what we die for.

In a world of growing hate and difference of opinion, we most certainly need loving-kindness. Certainly. But if I can’t succeed in my own daily life, what hope does the world have?

We’re evolving. Let’s drain the swamp and love others. Simply and completely.

I can’t eat another alligator. Someone I recognize as being my kind. So we just have to look for the human. How can you hate someone who looks and acts and thinks like you? We all have eyeballs. We all have fur. We all have 2 arms, 2 legs, a brain and a heart. Usually. ?

With all my anger, flaws and ugliness, I still want to be loved. So I need to love. Even unlovables in their anger, flaws and ugliness. And do so out of kindness. It requires vulnerability and humility. Being open and humble.

Who are you?

3 thoughts on “Loving-Kindness”

  1. Wonderful article. 🙂 I do love the contradiction that is human personality! The first time I read about loving kindness, I was so sure it would come easy to me. When I’m alone with myself, I’m so convinced that every person around me is deserving of unconditional love, even those I don’t agree with, because they are all shaped by their situations and the people they come into contact with. And then I get out into the world, let myself be affected by all the mumbo jumbo of my judgmental mind, and slip back into being just that – judgmental. And just like you, I’m easily angered by the tiniest thing. And of course, pay for it with my own peace of mind. I bet it takes up a lot of energy at first, loving without conditions. But of course, if done often enough, it could become a habit, right? I sure hope so!

    Reply
    • I am learning, as a Christian, I don’t love others through my own power. If I can’t love others, that’s normal. I simply ask the Holy Spirit. NIce people are easy to love, right? It’s the difficult people who get stuck going down. lol I fail at doing seemingly normal things because I’m not equipped for it. But I can ask for help. That’s what I can do as a Christian. For someone who isn’t a Christian, the answer becomes a little more elusive IMO. But I do think awareness is key. Stepping into a scary, gray area and being conscious and intentional helps. Praying helps. I’m glad I’m not the only one! 😀 Thanks for sharing your heart and being transparent! We sound very much alike! I also learned a couple of years ago, sometimes my judgmental attitude is harsh, but sometimes, it’s a matter of discernment. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s the not being harsh I struggle with. Discernment is more a weighing of a situation and determining–“I don’t want that.” For instance, there was a girl at church this morning. She was a teen. She had on a dress that was off-the-shoulder and short! I immediately felt judgy!! But then I tried to discern what I wanted for my daughter. Don’t judge this girl, but also, I don’t want my daughter wearing that. It’s hard to not say, “What the heck is she wearing??” But I’m only in charge of me and to some degree my own kid.

      Reply
      • That girl can wear whatever she wants. I mainly don’t want my daughter wearing that because I want her to be seen for who she is, not what she’s wearing. Hope that’s not too judgy!! lol

        Reply

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