World Kindness Day is November 13 | Celebrate with a Poem about Self-Compassion

"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness."
~Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”
~Kahlil Gibran

November 13 is World Kindness Day--A day for practicing random acts of kindness to strangers, and for committing to make kindness the basis for all encounters every day.

In honor of this day, please enjoy this poem by James Crews, poet, author and editor of several best-selling poetry anthologies on the themes of Kindness, Mindfulness, Peace, and Joy.


My friend and I snickered the first time
we heard the meditation teacher, a grown man,
call himself honey, with a hand placed
over his heart to illustrate how we too 
might become more gentle with ourselves
and our runaway minds. It’s been years
since we sat with legs twisted on cushions,
holding back our laughter, but today
I found myself crouched on the floor again,
not meditating exactly, just agreeing
to be still, saying honey to myself each time
I thought about my husband splayed
on the couch with aching joints and fever
from a tick bite—what if he never gets better?—
or considered the threat of more wildfires,
the possible collapse of the Gulf Stream,
then remembered that in a few more minutes, 
I’d have to climb down to the cellar and empty
the bucket I placed beneath a leaky pipe
that can’t be fixed until next week. How long
do any of us really have before the body
begins to break down and empty its mysteries
into the air? Oh honey, I said—for once
without a trace of irony or blush of shame—
the touch of my own hand on my chest
like that of a stranger, oddly comforting
in spite of the facts.

Copyright © 2021 by James Crews

Note from the poet:

The Wonder of Small Things: Poems of Peace & Renewal | An anthology of poems, collected and edited by James Crews with foreword by Nikita Gill.

“I wrote ‘Self-Compassion’ the summer after the pandemic first began when I felt so worried for the state of our country and planet, when everything in our individual lives also seemed to be falling apart—the leaky pipe, my husband’s health.

I’m a recovering cynic, so self-care practices can still seem silly to me, but in this case, I had no choice but to be kind to myself, the wise words of Wendell Berry echoing in my mind: ‘Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.’” ~James Crews


“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”

~Henry James

“Perhaps the most "spiritual" thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.”
~Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
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