My Religion is Kindness

Download the song “My Religion is Kindness” from the CD “Beloved”

It seems that I wind up writing these monthly newsletters on the plane, and this month is no different. Right now I am coming home from co-facilitating a women’s retreat with my beloved friend, Rev. Cynthia James, for the women of Mile Hi Church in Denver, Colorado. We had a magnificent heart opening, connecting, inspiring time high in the Colorado Rockies. When I left there I felt inspired, uplifted and transformed. We all felt so much love and connection! So you can imagine what a shock it is to return to the “real world” and, while waiting for the plane, look around at all the people with their heads buried in their computers or their blackberries, or looking like they are insane talking to themselves until you see the tiny wire in their ear while they are talking on their cell phone. It feels like the exact opposite of my weekend: disconnected, alienating, and the opposite of any kind of heart connection. Even getting on the plane and sitting in my seat, I have noticed how people don’t like to make contact when they first sit down next to you for fear that you might just be a “talker” and they would be trapped for the entire flight. I can feel this in my fellow passengers and try and give a friendly “hello” with the subtext being: “Don’t worry. You are not trapped and I won’t talk to you. I just want to at least make some kind of connection since we are in this weird little tin can flying through the air for the next few hours together and it would be nice to at least say hello to the person who is sharing this experience with me.”

Am I overly dramatic? Maybe…but it just bugs me that we are now living in a culture where it feels harder to connect, and that talking or texting to cyber people is more important than that living and breathing person sitting next to you. I am not saying that all this technology is bad. I have a cell phone that I use and love – and I am aware of how it keeps me from making that human contact with people when I have my head buried in my phone checking emails or texting.

At the closing of our retreat, I said to the women that the love and connection that we all felt this last weekend could be our everyday state of being. Now that I am experiencing something different I realize again that it is a choice that I can make. Sure there will be people who won’t return my hello, but I am going to make it my everyday spiritual practice to extend my hand and come from that place of love with everyone I meet.

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