HERE COMES THE NEW YEAR (NOT ON ONE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT)
THE CARRY FROM THE QUIET WATERS OF VACATION TO THE WHITE WATER RUSH OF VOCATION

KINDNESS

Kindness

These past ten months have wizened us. As individuals and as a social collective. Lockdowns have sucked out our vitality... aged us. Perhaps made us a little cynical. We started strong on neighbourly love and cheering the NHS.

We got to Christmas a little more inward looking and trying to push every restriction. As we look ahead to a tough hard January but ultimately vaccine freeing spring we need something.

Something needs to "turn us tender again" as my friend Martyn Joseph sings. Something needs to lift our eyes again. Something needs to kindle our compassion. Something needs to mellow us. Let me take you on a journey into one word that might be a spark. 

It all started in Glenarm. Well, a singer from Glenarm anyway. The Antrim east coast’s most successful singer Ben Glover has a song on his brilliant new record Shorebound called Kindness:

 

“May you know kindness 

May kindness know you”

 

It is beautiful, like a prayer. 

Then I turned south, down the coast. Frank Turner’s Be More Kind album features 4 co-writes with Bangor’s Grammy nominated Iain Archer. Though Iain was not involved in the title track, that song is called Be More Kind! 

 

“In a world that has decided

That it's going to lose its mind

Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind”

 

Staying with Iain Archer, an actual co-write of his, released the same week, by the band Peace, Kindness is The New Rock N Roll. With a rock strut they sing: 

 

“Kindness is new rock and roll

Kindness is the climax of the soul

It's all full of love bursting from the seams

So lets make kindness the new rock and roll”

 

That was not all. I blogged these lyrics and someone pointed out that I missed another quotation from an album I had just reviewed at the time. The title track of Courtney Marie Andrew’s superb record suggested kindness more powerful than wealth:

 

Fortune might buy you diamonds, all shiny and new

But it can't buy you happiness, or love that is true

And if your money runs out, and your good looks fade

May your kindness remain

 

Finally, Ray Lamontagne’s title track Part of the Light sees kindness as a light in the world:

 

When kindness is the greatest gift that one can share

Why choose hate to subjugate your fellow man

I don't know, I don't know, I don't know

I want to be a part of the light

Please let me be a part of the light

I want to be a part of the light

 

I would suggest that there is a Biblical argument for kindness being part of the light as Lamontagne sings. There it is in the fruit of the Holy Spirit as the apostle Paul lists them in Galatians 5“love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” 

How does kindness stand out in that list? Well, a quote by a Bible scholar caught my eye, “It (kindness) is the grace which pervades the whole nature, mellowing all which would be harsh and austere.”

Kindness as  a grace that mellows ten months of the heart and soul's frustration. From within us... to one another. "May you know kindness and may kindness know you."

 

 

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