Kindness

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and to purchase bread
only kindness that raises its head
from the world to say
it is I you have been looking for
and goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Naomi Shihab Nye,  Words from Under the Words

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