“Asking ‘am I being kind?’ is the ultimate tool for creating awareness. The next time you’re about to argue, complain, consume unhealthy food, yell at a loved one, or even litter, take a deep breath and inquire within: ‘am I being kind?’ By pausing and internally posing this question, you will not only become more aware, you’ll begin to make kindness toward yourself and all of life a daily practice.”
There are some people you only meet once and they somehow make a lasting impression on you. For me, Michael J. Chase was one of those people.
It was a little less than ten years ago, when I was working as a field canvasser (door-to-door political ‘salesman’) for a Maine-based “progressive” political organizing/lobbying group. It was a warm summer day and we were canvassing the city of Biddeford.
Biddeford, was an old mill town that had fallen on less than prosperous economic times like most other mill towns in the northeastern U.S. Theoretically, reaching out to those who are struggling is good when you are “organizing” for a state-run single-payer health care system that would theoretically cut out-of-pocket health care expenses (theoretically). At the doors we were trained to use sales techniques and emotional triggering to (hopefully) drum up enough anger and resentment towards greedy insurance company CEOs to inspire “action”.
Unfortunately, reaching out to the poor and working class it isn’t always great when you are needing people to give you money so you can keep your job.
It also didn’t help that Biddeford is one of the few cities in the U.S. where French (at least the Canadian version of it) is the primary language of a large segment of the population- and I could remember about five words after taking two years of French over a decade earlier.
Needless to say, I was not having a great day.
Eventually I came to a lovely home that was set back in a more rural-ish part of Biddeford. It was surrounded by lush greenery and in the parking lot, I noticed a van that had the name “The Kindness Center” painted on the side of it. My heart leapt a bit, as I thought I’d struck “gold”.
“Kindness Center?” I thought, “These people are DEFINITELY going to give me money!“.
At that time, I was still under the erroneous assumption that most truly good-hearted and kind people were left-leaning and “progressive“.
So, I knocked on the door, and Michael answered.
The thing that struck me most, still to this day, was the man’s presence. I’d not felt anything like it before, and would be hard pressed to say if I really have since. Not in that way. It was an almost overwhelming presences of “goodness”, for like of a better word. An intense vibration of which I could write a thousand words and never come close to describing.
I gave my “rap” (canvassing lingo for the script and messaging we’d use at the doors), and Michael listened. But he wasn’t giving me money. He expressed a wariness of political groups and stated that he would need to look into it. I did not try to convince him or give another round of “asks” (i.e. dropping my “price”).
I was so enamored by the energy I felt coming from him, I completely dropped the whole reason I was there in the first place. There was something deeper I wanted; something more important than the politics of envy. I asked him about the “Kindness Center” he had, at the time, only recently started.
Michael told me of how he had been in an incredibly dark and selfish place, when life put forth a series of circumstances that completely changed his outlook on life. From that moment on, Michael dedicated his life, not to “fighting social injustice“, but to promoting kindness in the simplest, most practical, and most organic ways possible.
I was talking to a living, breathing sage in the truest sense- something FAR more important to me than political agendas or “making quota“. I left with empty hands and a full heart.
In the often heavy metaphysical and metapolitical things I get into here, kindness tends to get overlooked. I’m sure that some may even find it curious that a “far-right” site with a heavy masculine warrior theme and a slogan that translates to “conquer or die“, would even care about kindness. And they would be quite mistaken.
Kindness equates to Mercy- a virtue in the Samurai warrior’s code.
In my view, kindness, perhaps more than anything else, is how we truly “ride the tiger of modernity”, rising above its false and superficial values and residing in a place of action that is real and genuine.
Now, I am not referring to “kindness” as giving money to various corporate-sponsored charities or posting on Facebook about how the impersonal state needs to bring in waves of migrants that you will most likely never interact with.
This is not kindness. This is virtue signaling.
Kindness has nothing to do with faceless bureaucracy or government programs.
Kindness would be taking someone who has fallen on hard times into your home.
Kindness is face to face.
Kindness is personal and in person.
Kindness is getting your hands dirty.
Kindness is giving without expectation of getting.
Kindness is action, not emotion.
Kindness is selfless service.
Kindness is what we should do our best to show everyone we come into contact with, regardless of race, color, religion or creed.
Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle“.
Kindness saves us from falling into depression and despair- both when we receive it and more importantly, when we express it.
Kindness makes the unnatural world of modernity a little more like heaven, as kindness literally infuses this world with the Light of Christ.
Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Kindness is virtue.
Kindness is strength.
Kindness is love.
So let us be kind to one another.
WR-ALDA’S Blessings unto you.