Kindness Beyond Altruism

I’ve given up on the terms “selfishness” and “altruism”. Those words assume we are individuals with debts and credits in a karmic bank account that can be exchanged. Kindness, especially forgiveness, is a communal experience including even onlookers* and crossing generations. There is no point measuring it. It overflows all containers.

I remember picking up the couple in the evening as I entered I-95 in central Maine. I figured they had to go to the next town, but their destination was one hundred miles further north. They were as tired and messed up financially as I was. She was well along in her pregnancy.

That was so long ago it feels like another lifetime. I drove them to their apartment which was as rundown as the farmhouse room I was renting and left them with a smile. They never stopped smiling back.

WITHOUT MEASURING
AUTUMN SUNLIGHT OVERFLOWS
ONTO EVERYONE

*I realized this after reading Sarah Connor’s post “Kindness — haibun for dverse”.


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday.  Toni is hosting with the theme “kindness”.  I am also linking this to Debbie Roth’s Forgiving Fridays.

Photo: “Bright Leaves Bright Light” by the author.