I only use Facebook to maintain my Dont Mind Life community page so generally, if there is nothing of interest in my timeline on the first page, I don't look beyond it. Similarly I am not one to post my every movement either. A few days ago, there was however a post that caught my eye. You may have seen it, but if not it was titled "What this father did brought me to tears, and I never cry". If you have not seen it, here is the clip.
When I watched this clip, I was filled with emotion as I am sure you were. My first thought was that I felt completely blessed that my children and the other people in my life were all healthy. I guess on a day to day basis no one need apologize for taking their own good health for granted. Those of us who do not have Mitochondrial Disease like McKenzie or any other illnesses or disability, or indeed have to aid or assist those that do are not subjected to the constant reminder of what a blessing it is to have good health.
My second thought was towards all my past and present personal challenges, either those that direct affect me or those I feel burdened with because I am thinking and feeling for others. To stop for a moment and think what it is like to be McKenzie really adds a different dimension when considering what I feel I am going through. It completely changes the severity and priority I place on those challenges. So much so, they become almost insignificant, if only for but a moment. However this is a practice I must hone -- the ability to keep reminding myself of this perspective in a bid to reduce any anxiety or stress (more of that in another article).
Most of all though when watching this video, I am consumed with hope. I am hopeful that more people like McKenzie's dad are part of this world. I am hopeful that more people go out of their way, ignore any pride, ego or self-image to help others. I am hopeful that kindness exists and can be shared. It is through kindness that deep levels of empathy and eventually love can grow. It is through kindness that we will start looking beyond race, color, religion or political persuasion.
Some may say, it's easy because he is her dad and parents have a deep love for their children. Yes that is true but the essence of the action can be replicated by anyone and everyone. I wish that every parent did indeed treat their own children with this level of love and kindness, however we know that is not the case. If it were, it would be a great start! You do not need to be someone's child, parent or loved one to see how one human being can help another. It is not impossible to instantly know how we can help another when we see or hear about them. What is possible and within each of our control is whether we make the choice to do it.
Sometimes, people have difficulty in helping others because they have no connection with them. Some people need to know someone before they have a sufficient level of empathy to spare a few moments, hours, days or even longer. That is the founding obstacle getting in our way of eradicating conflict, war and pain. That's right, in my opinion, the lack of a wide spread ability to empathize with another is preventing global peace. I talk of empathy and kindness but remember these are levels of compassion and it is compassion that we must have for each other. Innate, instinctive, unconstrained compassion.
It does take practice and concentration to build the ability to be compassionate with a stranger. Most people will not get concerned when they hear a baby crying or child hurt unless they themselves are a parent. Most people will not understand how a death of a loved one can cripple until they themselves have lost someone close. Human beings, like most creatures in the animal kingdom are naturally experiential learners when it comes to emotions and matters of the mind. However, we can start with that learning by taking one step at a time. Let's start by being kind to one another.
I am not talking about asking us to forgive all wrong-doers and those individuals who wish ill-harm to others. That will come in time. For now, all I am asking is that we try and cultivate kindness -- one dance at a time!