Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Some kind of wonderful

(Boy) You can't judge a book by its cover.
(Girl) Yeah, but you can tell how much it's going to cost.
(Boy) That's deep
From the 1987 movie, Some Kind of Wonderful


It's a brand new day. New dawn. New morning. A new opportunity to create some kind of wonderful in my life. Or, if I happen to get up on the wrong side of the bed or am stuck in the darkness of the night, another opportunity to create some kind of awful.

It is always my choice what kind of day, what kind of world I create around me.

"It's kinda scary when you think everything is lost to find out, you've still got more to lose."

Those words were spoken by a young woman who had been at the shelter for a few months because, well mostly because her addiction kept driving her away from what she wanted in her life.

She said those words in response to a question I had asked, "What do you want more of in your life?" It's a question I ask every time I teach the self-esteem class in our job-readiness program.

"Kindness," she told me. "Kindness and love and feeling like I count."

In a world where scarcity and fear collide, ricocheting off a world of abundance on the other side of not so wonderful, the responses to the question are always similar. Even though they live without a home of their own, often without anything to their name, people don't tend to ask for more money, even when they have none. They don't immediately say they want a home, or a job, though they know that is why they are in the class. That is what they are preparing themselves for.

What they want more of in their lives are those soul giving forces that create a more caring, giving and loving world. Respect. Love. Honesty. Dignity. Kindness.

"Tell me about kindness," I ask the class. "Who do you think of when you say, 'kindness'."

"My father," replies a tall African man. "He was always kind. Always helping people. He used to say, 'if we can't be kind then our humanity is lost and when our humanity is lost, our soul is dark'. I am struggling to be like my father but in this place, I so often feel like my humanity is lost and all I see is darkness."

"What would you rather see?" I ask.

"Pretty girls." The class laughs. He smiles, takes a breath. "I'd rather see light. I'd rather see me being the kind of man I want to be."

"What kind of man do you want to be?" I ask.

He pauses. I watch him swallow. He bites his bottom lip. "I have done many bad things," he says.

"And is that who you want to be?" I ask him.

He quickly shakes his head. "No. Never. I want to be like my father. I want to make him proud."

"What if you claimed your right to be proud?"

"How can I be proud of the things I've done?"

"It is not what you've done that measures your future. It's what you're willing to do to change, to make amends, to take a different path. It's what you're willing to give up to have what you want."

"I'm willing to give up being unkind," he says.

"And when you give up unkindness, what kind of man will you be?"

"Proud," he promptly replies.

In all of us is the desire to be the person of our dreams. To claim our magnificence, our beauty, our truth.

In all of us is the belief, we are measured by our pasts. Measured wanting by those times when we let go of our dreams and gave into our desire to not feel, pain, anger, sorrow, despair...

And in all of us is the invitation to be kind. To be kind to ourselves, to be kind to those around us. To be kinder, more loving human beings.

What's some kind of wonderful I want to create today? Kindness where ever I go. Laughter and joy where ever I am. Beauty and truth within me. Beauty and truth about me.

Let me create a kinder world today. The kind of world where I am my most magnificent self shining my light so I can see you're being some kind of wonderful.

Today is Blog Carnival. It's a one word prompt kind of day that ignites creative prose, poetry and thinking. Click on over to Bridget' Chumbley's place at One Word At A Time or Peter Pollock at Rediscovering the Church and immerse yourself here in the joy of people sharing 'kindness' through their own unique some kind of wonderful!

9 comments:

Maureen said...

Always nice to walk under a cloud of kindness with you, dear friend.

Hugs.

nAncY said...

it is true, we do all want kindness. it is something that we all could use more of.

good shraring.

Glynn said...

In a lot of ways, we're all like that man in your class. We'll stop being unkind, so we can be proud. It's amazing how screwed up we get things. Good post.

S L M Moss said...

"In all of us is the belief, we are measured by our pasts. Measured wanting by those times when we let go of our dreams and gave into our desire to not feel, pain, anger, sorrow, despair..."

I've been struggling with this thought lately. What if I deserve to be where i am? what if this is as good as it gets? The truth is that I am worth more than this, that I have more value. It's hard to walk away from someone who is hurting you when you believe in your core that it's how you deserve to be treated.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Ahhh, my lovely friend SLM, would you question God's wisdom? Would you question how He created you to be a reflection of his love.

Know, in your core, you are born to love, to be love, to give and receive love.

The rest, is just life's little bumps getting in the way of our being our most magnificent selves.

Love you!

Louise

and thank you everyone for dropping by and leaving a message. I so appreciate your comments and voices.

S. Etole said...

this is so good ... so revealing as to what our hearts hold even when things are hard

Jessica Benzakein said...

What a great thought to wake up with each morning: What's some kind of wonderful I want to create today? Kindness where ever I go. Laughter and joy where ever I am.

Joy said...

I really needed to be reminded of this. It's more important to the people around me, and to me, to be treated with kindness than to be fed or clothed or housed. This ties in so well to my own post on kindness. Thank you for your comment there, and your kind words. :)

JoAnne Bennett said...

Louise, I've missed reading your thought-provoking posts these last couple of weeks. Your words, "In all of us is the belief, we are measured by our pasts. Measured wanting by those times when we let go of our dreams and gave into our desire to not feel, pain, anger, sorrow, despair..." really touched my life in such a personal way. Thanks for sharing :)!