K is for Kindness

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“Kindness” by Diane Casanova

Kindness. Where do I start? I could sing her praises forever. As much as I try to keep to myself, she sees right through me. Indeed, her wisdom knows no bounds. She knows me better than I know myself, but it’s not just my life that she’s touched. She transforms people in a way that words can’t possibly explain. I’ve witnessed the effects of her influence on the hardest of hearts, and it is truly awe-inspiring. 

Kindness lives in love, patience, and empathy. She dances in the light of your eyes when you smile at a stranger. Her voice is your heart’s favorite song. She has a way of making things like anger and pain go away. Her energy is so infectious and inspirational — you’d be a fool not to notice her. Even on the darkest of days, she IS the glimmer of light and hope that keeps humanity thriving.

Kindness knows your deepest fears and secrets. She, too, has flaws. Her insecurities get the best of her sometimes, so she forgets how powerful she is. Even then, Kindness is there for you when you do something wrong. She knows how weary you are, how hard it is to do the right thing all the time. Her arms are always open, even what if you’ve done is unforgivable. But do not mistake Kindness for Weakness.

Kindness loses hope from time to time. She finds herself lost amongst the throes of our perverse need to punish each other, to punish ourselves. Our relentless bloodlust drowns out her reason and guidance. The constant battle between ourselves and the “others” blinds us to the reality of the situation: we’re all suffering. Kindness knows that this common thread could be what binds us together, she’s just waiting for us to realize it, too. 

Kindness is cultivated. She cannot be bought or bribed. You must earn her respect by overcoming the burden of your pain. It begins with acknowledging personal fears and faults, recognizing the role they play in your fate. Then, forego your ego and embrace your humanity. Let go of your misfortunes and mistakes. It will lead you to forgiveness, for yourself and for those you feel have wronged you. Only then can you truly begin to know her. 

Kindness is a ride-or-die — a companion for all time. If you let her, she will plant her seed in the soil of your soul. Nurture that seed daily with peaceful thoughts and selfless deeds so it will bear good fruit. Share those fruits with others so they may plant those seeds within themselves. Encourage others to harvest and share that the bounty. Repeat the cycle and spread joy. At the end of the day, all she wants is for us to respect one another. 

Kindness is a gift you must choose to give every single day. Both to others and to yourself. When you meet a broken, angry soul, share her gospel through your actions, not through words. When you find yourself lost in pain, bask in her light for yourself. Revel in it. Let it wash over you and make you the best version of yourself. Only then can you find enlightenment and sweet, sweet peace. 

I chose kindness because it feels like that’s what is most lacking in our current social and political climate. I chose to interpret kindness as a woman because as a woman, it is one of the first emotions that comes to mind when I think about we as women have to face the world with every day if we want to overcome and exceed expectations of mediocrity.
— Diane Casanova, on inspiration for "Kindness"

DIANE CASANOVA was born to two immigrant parents who sacrificed everything they had to move from Colombia to Houston, Texas. She holds her heritage near and dear, using it and the influence of her hometown as a source of strength and motivation. Diane currently works as a news producer and occasional reporter for a local news station in Billings, Montana.