There are so many pithy quotes about being kind and compassionate and loving, and I have a confession to make:
I love them all.
It’s too easy to be cold and unforgiving and apathetic. I know; I catch myself doing it all the time. Vulnerability and weakness and caring make us–or me, at least–feel fragile. If we’ve been hurt, doubly so. I think scar tissue is as much a protection as it is a response to trauma.
These quotes deserve to be needlepointed on pillows on your grandmother’s couch. They’re greeting card stock. They’re things you wrote in your third-grade diary when that girl on your bus said something mean about your hair. And they’re true, at least for me, and sometimes they echo in my mind as a reminder that sometimes bravery is not stoicism but rather letting everything, even in the bad things, in.
Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.
Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies–God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.
Kurt Vonnegut – God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
And so on, and so on. Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(Noun: from the Latin durus, for ‘hard’)
To harden the heart against someone’s pleas or advances, or to the idea of love.
You don’t even realize that you’ve been calcified. It’s a slow, tedious process, a gradual layering that can go on eons if you let it, until you can no longer feel what lies beneath. Your heart can grow a callus as surely as your hands, but this one lurks beneath the skin, beneath the muscle, beneath the ribs.
Even so, it still beats, twitching, pulsating with life. Fractures appear. Deadness flakes off. Kissed by kindness, nurtured, pushed and fought by its owner, it changes.
Slowly, as the tides eat away at the shore, a heart made stone becomes soft again.