Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lina Good affirms the vital voice of kindness

"In my view, kindness is the finest of all human qualities. "
 Lina Good is a reader and keen follower of The Universal Heart Book Club. In this short appreciation she shares her profound desires for a kinder world.

I feel deep joy reading Stephanie Dowrick’s books and hearing her voice which, for me, is in perfect harmony with the voices of dear people I have known in my life. Those shared values, thoughts and ideas resonate with a ring of truth and wisdom. Sadly, that calm, gentle, clear voice is all too often drowned out by loud, aggressive, dogmatic voices in our various communities. This brings me to my reason for writing these thoughts:  I would like to affirm the voice of kindness. 
We all know when we have been encouraged and uplifted and, equally, we know when our spirit has been damaged or crushed.  I know I have been fortunate to have had a mother and a father who lived their ideals as Stephanie has described. They gave me a foundation and a springboard for life. I see how I have been drawn to people who share these values. You can imagine my delight and gratitude when I discovered Stephanie Dowrick’s books.

From my earliest years, I have been aware of the transforming power of words.   

We all know how everything changes when we hear the words “I’m sorry,” sincerely expressed.  In sharp contrast, we know how our hopes are dashed when we hear the flat words, “You’re wrong.”  We have ample evidence of our shared human yearning to be heard and understood.  One of the human experiences that brings deepest happiness is when people listen respectfully to each other and grow in their capacity for empathy and love.

Among the most memorable and cherished words given to me were those spoken by my father at a time of deep sorrow at the end of his long, well-lived, radically kind and compassionate life: simply this – “Just remember, underneath it all, there’s love.”  Those words of comfort have been transformative within my heart and mind and have shed light on the whole spectrum of our human experience. With that thought, the sacred is never distant.
Some people think that it is not possible to put ideals into action in the real world. Many people know that it is and their lives show the freedom, peace and lightness of heart their choices bring. In my view, kindness is the finest of all human qualities. It can be given and received anywhere, in the most surprising of circumstances.  True kindness springs from the heart.

I have felt unbridled enthusiasm for Australia and the generous Aussie spirit since moving here from Canada in 1981. I have met so many kind and vibrant people that it seemed a fine idea to link these like-minded people together to form a network of kindness to promote positive change in our world.  In 1999, I announced to my bemused children that I intended to start “A Revolution of Kindness” and gave my captive audience details of my grandiose plans.
Stephanie Dowrick takes kindness as her central theme in this book.
During my first enthusiastic flow of ideas, I had overlooked some obvious impediments to my grand plan, foremost among them, my preference for one-to-one, quiet conversation and my tendency to shudder at the thought of communicating with large groups.  My ideas remained dormant except for occasional, amusing one-liners from someone in the family when we heard of the positive initiatives of others – “Oh, that’s like your ‘Revolution of Kindness,’ Mum!”

Fittingly, I was told of Stephanie Dowrick’s “The Universal Heart Bookclub” and Universal Heart Network by a very kind person.  I was thrilled.  If ever there was an instrument to galvanize a revolution of kindness, it is this.  In my opinion, Stephanie’s words, ideas and values form the core, the foundation and the framework for a life well-lived.  Surely, that is the greatest challenge and highest goal of life and the most precious gift each one of us can give. 
About Lina Good
Lina writes: "I was born and educated in Canada and worked as a counsellor with young people during the 1970s. In 1981, I married an Aussie who I had met in Israel and we settled in Australia. We have one daughter and one son and have been living in Coffs Harbour, NSW, since 1989. I worked as a registered psychologist from 1991 until  retirement in 2011. My keen interest in the healing conversation remains strong."   
Keen to read or comment?  
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  1. Lina's wonderful essay on kindness goes right to the heart of what can so easily be missing in our busy Western society. I believe in people, I believe in their goodness, but I also see that we are so involved with what is happening not only in our personal lives, but also in what is going on in every corner of the globe. This is good in that it takes us out of our own 'smaller' life and puts us in touch with the rest of humanity. It is not so good, if it means I am stepping over those in my own smaller circle to stay 'in the loop.' out there. Kindness expressed needs a willingness to stop, to listen and to care enough to given our limited and precious time right where we live our lives.
    It is so timely that Stephanie and Lina are bringing these self-evident but sometimes forgotten truths to our doorstep, pointing out that that is how life should be lived and shared, otherwise we are deluded and so much the poorer collectively and individually. Thank you Stephanie and Lina. Blessings on you both.

  2. Thank you very much for your lovely words, Helga, which I will also share with Lina. I am very glad they touched your heart.