Following in the style and sweep of The Way of Gratitude, Michael Leach, editor emeritus at Orbis Books, along with his co-editors, James T. Keane and Doris Goodnough, have put together this satisfying and edifying anthology of essays, fiction, poems, meditations, and glimpses of grace. They give kindness the red carpet treatment!
You have to marvel at the chutzpah of a devotional book that begins with a frontispiece saying by the novelist Henry James:
"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind."
And then the book ends with this madcap advise from Kurt Vonnegut:
"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 — oh damn it, you've got to kind!"
Many of our favorite spiritual teachers appear here with keen and varied musings on kindness: they include Anne Lamott, Joan Chittister, Thich Nhat Hanh, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Rupp, Dorothy Day, Frederick Buechner, Henri Nouwen, Jack Kornfield, and Sharon Salzberg. Sprinkled throughout are statements and descriptions of people the editors consider to be "kindly lights."
This is the kind of book you can dip into whenever you need a little inspiration; every page has some, so just open it to random selection and enjoy.