January 1, 2014

On this first day of 2014, I have only one wish:

To feel kindness, in myself and others

The Oxford Dictionary defines kind as:

The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate

Proverbs 11:17 says:

A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself

Poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox who wrote the immortal lines,” Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone,” also wrote:

So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
When just the art of being kind
Is all this sad world needs.

Oprah cuts to the chase and calls kindness:

One person helping another

And of course, “a picture is worth a thousand words”…


22 thoughts on “January 1, 2014”

  1. Indeed! One of my favorite benedictions is “Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.” Henri Amiel

  2. SO true, Joanna! I’m constantly struck by the kindness I experience here in Mérida. My most recent example occurred this morning. (My car broke down two days ago, so I’m using taxis.) Today, with a piece of wheeled luggage in tow, outside of the supermarket, a man way across the four lanes, called out to me, wanting to help. “Taxi?” ” Si.” He then crossed the 4 lanes and helped me flag down one of the few New Year’s Day taxis out there. AND he refused my offered tip.

    I can recall many even greater example, but it’s the frequency of such kindness that impacts me the most.

    We must all try to do the same.

  3. Happy Holidays Joanna, Jorge, Carlos, Maggie and extended family. We had an interesting Xmas season here with a major ice storm leaving many without power for over a week. All are faring well but many of us wish we had the sense to move to warmer climates!

    All the best,


  4. Kindness is one part of grace. But I would also add one of Jesus’ most profound statements of grace: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.” May God’s grace be with you this year. And may we share that grace with the neighbors we are to love as we love ourselves.

    1. Yes, mercy is the other BIG part of grace. It is easy for us to feel kindness and show mercy when we see injustice. It is not so easy to feel kindness towards those who offend us and what we believe in. For me it is even harder when disrespect is shown towards people I feel do not deserve such treatment. Bullying (in person or in print) those who can’t defend themselves is hard for me to forgive. And this attitude is so prevalent, especially in the media. We are entitled to express our opinion, but under what circumstances does that right to extend to offensive and derogatory diatribe? I compare this trend to the claim that “the right to bear arms” includes the right to pack an AK47. Yet Jesus said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” I keep trying…

  5. Kindness by and to all. It has been proven time and again how even the smallest act goes a long way, to paraphrase American humourist Peg Bracken, in “taking the sand out of the daily machinery of life”. Along with kindness to and tolerance of all another of my greatest wishes for 2014 is that every child and animal who needs a home will find a kind and loving one. All the best to you, Jorge and family for the New Year.

    1. “Taking the sand out of the daily machinery of life…” Yes, kindness does that. It also takes the sand out of our acquaintances’ “shoes,” so that we all walk more comfortably and taller. It doesn’t take much… sometimes just a smile or a compassionate expression makes a huge difference

  6. It’s interesting. The older I get, the more I believe that kindness benefits the giver more than the receiver. I also think generosity redounds to the giver in much the same way. Thanks for reminding us of this truth.


    Kim G
    San Francisco, CA
    Where we received two small kindnesses today in Berkeley, and are looking to repay them.

  7. What a beautiful picture! I love the happy eyes of the boy and the loving affection with which he embraces the puppy. There’s so much to learn from children: they are kind, they are frank, they love to play and enjoy life as it is, no matter what. If something bad happens, they may cry, but the next minute they forget and they’re laughing again. Thank you for kindly reminding us the treasure of being kind.

    1. Thank you for commenting Florentino. That picture is of a boy who lives in Santa Elena. He lives with his extended family. They share the chores and pool their resources, and although they don’t have a lot of material wealth, they do the best they can. And yes, his face is the face of kindness.

  8. The picture is superb…love it. Shows caring, contentment. Another great picture that you took is the one of the little girl in San Cristobal, looking up, last year.

    1. Thanks Katrina. I’m glad you liked the little guy and his puppy. And yes, I remember little Gladys so well. I will be going back to San Cristobal in March; I wonder if I’ll see her again?

  9. Happy New Year Joanna! Kindness – I like it! Good idea, good word. My word for this year is PEACE . Peace for all. If we have health, we have peace, if we have work, we have peace, if we are prosperous, we have peace.
    On another note, our Christmas gift was an ultrasound of Mateo’s sibling due in August!! Life is good!

  10. Yes, the photo of the dog in arms is wonderful. This photo, and Sharon’s inclusion of animals, again compels me to plug the movie, SIEMPRE A TU LADO.

    Not many people really understand it when I say that my African Grey, Cucurrucucu, is my ” best friend”, but some dog and cat lovers do understand. And Richard Gear, in the movie, and the dog Hachiko, sure do as well. The jacket states: “A real story of loyalty and unconditional love.”

    1. Oh that Hachiko movie is really an emotional ride… but there’s an even more intense one. I can’t remember the name but it is about the guy who has a dog team and he has to leave them behind in Antarctica when the season changes… He goes back for them; don’t worry! Indeed animals love us in a unique way

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