"When we accept that our lives are always unfinished and that, even so, they are of immense beauty, we'll be able to live one little step at a time. If that small step is valued for itself, for the tiny, humble adventure that it is, we'll not seek what is beyond us. We'll be glad of the journey and let the destination take care of itself.

"Even lives that are full of challenge, despair, and pain have great value and a haunting beauty. We are who we are, because we have undergone the difficulties that somehow belong to us. When kindness resides in us, the world is lit with a soft light. It is no accident that the word kindness begins with the word kin. Under the auspices of kindness, everything is illuminated as somehow kin to us, though we don't know how. There's no way to be outside reality although we often make strangers of ourselves and of others. Day by day we need only to take our next step into kinship.

"We already know that everyone is vulnerable, and that change is the way of it all. But when universal kinship is understood, we learn to be careful. How we are with others is really how we are with ourselves. The painful lives of others will mark us, as will the joyful ones. Lessons learned are not for us alone. In the word yours is the word ours. In these days, kindness matters more than it ever has before. It gives loving permission for a better world to evolve that is not yet visible.

"In the morning, when our feet touch the floor, we step into a new day. In that very moment we can decide to walk into a day of kinship. Forgive the pun; the bottoms of our feet will become all soul. Kindness is always from the bottom up. It inhabits lowly places, the ordinary things we handle, and the loving drudgery we might have to suffer for the sake of another. When we stand and walk in kindness, we are immediately grounded, by earth, humus, humility, and humanness. To live kindness is a journey of immense worth and will continue beyond the span of our lives."