I've always loved the definition for contemplation: "a long, loving look." And when you take a long, loving look anywhere, you feel more bonded with whatever you've looked at. --Naomi Shihab Nye

Before You Know Kindness: A Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before You Know Kindness: A Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

Apr 9, 2021-- "Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth." Thus begins Naomi Shihab Nye's poem Kindness, animated poignantly by Ana Perez Lopez for the On Being Project. The poem, first published in 1980 and read softly here by the poet, contrasts strikingly with the typographical approach to the animation done during the pandemic lockdown of 2020. "Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing." Nye's words have relevance for us now as we not only negotiate great losses but reemerge to a new normal, with Kindness, for "only Kindness makes sense anymore". (2784 reads)


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Take ActionLearn more about the powerful backstory of this poem in this On Being interview with Naomi Shihab Nye. [more]



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