Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 13th November 2022
Dear Friends, I have been thinking a lot about the importance of certain words in both religious and in secular language. Words such as compassion, faith, equality, integrity, responsibility, honesty, … Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 13th November 2022
I have been thinking a lot about the importance of certain words in both religious and in secular language. Words such as compassion, faith, equality, integrity, responsibility, honesty, forgiveness and love. All very powerful and meaningful words that are or should be part of any religious belief, and that, one would like to be part of everyones way of life throughout the world.
However; there is one quiet, gentle little word that I feel is just as important and is so simple to enact. Kindness!
I have recently been through a rather difficult time with coping with being my dear wife Christine’s full time carer, and to a lesser extent one or two issues with my own health. (Plus the current state of the world). But having shared the situation with Friends at a recent Needlemaker’s Circle Meeting I have been so touched by their concern and kindness. It has meant so much to me and to Christine.
The following are a sample of thoughts on kindness by people of different faiths that I would like to share with Friends:
Stephen Grellet: (French Quaker Missionary 1773-1855) I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or kindness I can show to any creature let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Mahatma Gandhi: The simplest acts of kindness are far more powerful than a thousand heads bowed in prayer.
Rumi: (Islamic scholar and poet) on kindness: When we practice loving kindness and compassion, we are the first ones to profit. Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.
The Dalai Lama: My religion is kindness!
Buddha: On kindness:
The first rule of kindness is to be kind to yourself. If your compassion does not include yourself…it is incomplete.
Kindness is showing someone that THEY MATTER.
To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks, but a special heart that listens.
Loving kindness (metta) a traditional Buddhist concept, implies acting with kindness and compassion towards all sentient beings, with awareness of the natural world.
Unnamed present day Quaker: If love is the first notion, kindness is never far behind. And kindness and love are to be found above all … in listening.
In peace, friendship and kindness
On behalf of the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (Bob Harwood, David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Tim Pitt-Payne, Theresa Samms, Nancy Wall)