Fierce Kindness

A mantra of mine is “do not mistake kindness for weakness.” Watching CBS Sunday Morning, I learned a new term “fierce kindness.”

Kindness exists in people of all colors, shapes and sizes. From the CBS Sunday Morning show, the focus was on an Indianapolis man who works with children to repair donated run down bicycles for donation to others. Another segment looked at a Boston doctor who serves the homeless community, a journey that started over thirty years ago.

The doctor noted he was told to set aside his stethoscope and soak a few feet. What he learned, by helping someone with their feet, they are above him telling him how they feel. When asked what is the most important thing to do when seeing a homeless person – look him or her in the eye and say hello.

The bicycle fixer shows kids the path of kindness. He said it is ok to be fierce with kindness.

I found this helpful, as many people see kindness as a form of acquiescence. It is not. We can disagree without being disagreeable.

That is what civil discourse is all about. Civil is an important part of the discourse equation. Name calling, shouting down others or smugly denigrating someone who disagrees with you, is not civil.

Treating others like you want to be treated is what these two men are teaching others. Be kind. And, it is ok to be fiercely kind.

When I see folks who are doing the right thing against the pushback of others, fierce kindness comes to mind.

10 thoughts on “Fierce Kindness

  1. I love the paragraph about homeless people. I experienced the same. There are no homeless people over here. But when I am visiting the States, I encounter many. I don’t simply throw something in a can in front of them but really look at them, say hello, or at least clearly smile at them. I remember one homeless young woman I met in front of a Target. I went inside and bought something to eat and to drink for her. When I gave it to her we started talking and she told me her story. A couple years later, I saw her again, and she recognized me. It was like meeting an old friend. It is an experience I never want to miss. Most of all, seeing her smile. What her soul needed most was to be seen and respected.

    • Erika, you are a breath of fresh air. You lift people up with your kind spirit. I also find of interest you noted there are no homeless people in Lichtenstein. A country should be judged in how they take care of their less fortunate. So kudos to your country. To be as rich a country as we are, we have way too much hunger and too many homeless. Keith

      • Yes, we are fortunate. Still there are people who have difficulties to handle their living but no one is living on the street. A good social system is the fundament of a stable country. I am fortunate to live here. Switzerland is not bad either. But I am very aware of it and don’t take it for granted. I see it as a responsibility everybody has. There is always someone at a worse place than I am, no matter how I feel.
        Again, thank you for your beautiful post. It was heart-warming. Have a merry Christmas, dear friend!

      • Erika, thanks for sharing this perspective. We in the US get so caught up in this unreachable American dream, that we forget to help those who fall short climb a ladder to some level of self-sustainability. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: Reflecting on what was perceived as a corny saying at the time, but when President George HW Bush said we should celebrate the “lights” in our communities, he was speaking about the fiercely kind people. They lift people up. We should celebrate them. Keith

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