Will Glennon and Mary Jane Ryan have put together a collection of meditations, stories, and quotations about the spiritual practice of kindness. Chapters are: Kindness Is an Attitude and an Action, Kindness Begins at Home, Kindness Ripples Out into the World, Kindness Creates Happiness and Peace of Mind, Kindness Generates Love and Compassion, and Kindness Feeds the Body and Soul.
In the foreword, Rabbi Harold Kushner observes: "Being in a totally dark room can be frightening until we discover how little light we need to banish a roomful of darkness. The pain, the hopelessness of the world, may look insurmountable until we move to counter them with our little deeds of kindness." One of the best things about this spiritual practice is that it is portable and can be done anywhere and anytime. Kindness brings joy and happiness into the lives of others and opens our hearts. Here are a few quotes from the book:
• "One kind word can warm three winter months."
— Japanese proverb
• "We act with compassion and kindness because we want to be the kind of people who do, not because we have an expectation that it will have a certain effect. When we are invested in outcomes, we will inevitably be disappointed: the person won't necessarily be healed by our kind gesture; the world won't be 'fixed' by our grand effort. So long as we are focused on outcomes, we will not receive the deepest benefit of our actions — that resonant feeling that reminds us that, if only for that moment, we are all one."
— Will Glennon
• "I would like to have engraved inside every wedding band BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER. This is the Golden Rule of marriage and the secret of making love last through the years."
— Randolph Ray
"The quiet, probably unnoticed, sharing in a neighbor's joy, no less than his sorrow, constitutes an act of kindness."
— Morris Adler
"Kindness is found not just in actions and in words, but also in inaction and silence. We may not often think about that because it is hard to notice. After all, if someone bites his tongue and doesn't make a cutting remark, we will never know we could have been hurt but were spared by his kindness. But the Sufi rule of speech is a good one — if we all used kindness as a 'speech barrier', much less negativity would be verbalized."
— Will Glennon