A New York Tale of Kindness
There are many names for love such as grace, respect and, according to Greek philosophy, there are seven kinds of love. Eros (Romantic, Passionate Love); Philia (Affectionate, Friendly Love); Storge (Unconditional, Familial Love); Agape (Selfless, Universal Love); Ludus (Playful, Flirtatious Love); Pragma (Committed, Long-Lasting Love); Philautia (Self Love). Sanskrit, the classical language of South Asia, has 96 words for love and the most well-known word is Kama, erotic love, from the famous ancient text, the Kama Sutra.
There is also the kind of love that emanates from the core of being in this world. I believe that kindness is an expression of the love of life itself for it has that sense of altruism and Goodwill which contribute to make this world a better place. When the world is filled with benevolence, courtesy, decency, graciousness, gentleness and forbearance, it makes life so much easier and pleasant to be in that kind world.
A few days ago, I was walking down the street to my acupuncture appointment when I noticed this older woman with a cane trying to get to her ride. It was raining and it was obvious that the driver would not get out to help this poor woman. I reached out to her to help her get into the car. I was shocked at the lack of decency & courtesy. Nevertheless, I got off the bus on 42nd street and then the rain started pouring. I didn’t have an umbrella with me when all the sudden this young woman with a beautiful smile got close to me and offered to walk with me, under her umbrella, to Grand Central Station. This gesture gave me hope for it was a true expression of kindness, a kind gesture without expecting anything in return.