By Krina Ulmer
Kind is complicated.
Kind is a command.
Kind is an action.
Kind is a fruit.
Be kind – so familiar it rolls off the tongue and out of mind.
I inundate my children with – Was that kind? Are you being kind? Remember to be kind.
Pondering this word I became stuck on the connection between “kin” and “kind” –
Be kind; Be kin.
This connection reveals for me both the difficulty and beauty of kindness (kin-ness). Being kin does not guarantee ease of togetherness, does not magically remove all obstacles to relationships. Being kin however draws together regardless – insists on close proximities and demands resolution and resolve. It confronts and challenges – none of which can be avoided or ignored – not if there exists love.
So we learn to move beyond our knee-jerk, oft-times just jerk like behaviours – putting down our axes, releasing our personal demands for the sake of kin. Therein lies the beauty – because in these times, kindness moves – it works through our hearts in waves, washing away the bitter and makes way for love’s presence. Fruit born out of tension.
Who then is kin? The broader this definition the greater the love, I believe. Christ on a cross – arms spread wide for all his kin. A hard act to follow … (she said with a degree of flippancy – but not disrespect.)
But the challenge set down is to move through our days trying to be kin – be kind to those who are not immediately within our box of recognized kin. For me then it is to extend my hands in service as if to my own – regardless of the situation, regardless the person. To seek out and acknowledge the kin within all those who move around me and act in kind – because there is love, even if not from my miserly heart, there is love poured out for all of us.
Krina is mother to four tween/teenagers who are rapidly outgrowing her. When out with her kids, she feels more like she is traveling with her security team than with her little ducklings anymore. She writes at Queenheroical Thenandagain – where she writes her observations about a life filled with mothering and homeschooling and questing to find oneself in the midst. Sometimes there is poetry.
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