The power of kindness: honesty

Honesty: Everything Becomes Easier

“…not only is honesty compatible with genuine kindness, it is the very basis of kindness. False kindness pollutes. As long as you are not living in the truth, you cannot really communicate with others, you cannot have trust, you cannot relate. As long as you do not call the hard realities by name, you are living in the land of dreams. There is no room for you and me there, but only for harmful illusions. Inasmuch as we lie, we live a life devoid of reality. And kindness cannot exist in a world of masks and phantoms.”

“Not having to pretend simplifies our life. On the other hand, pretending day after day to be someone you are not, requires enormous effort.”

“Sometimes, in order to be kind, we first have to learn to look after ourselves.”

Warmth: The Temperature of Happiness

“Physical warmth-to be touched, cuddled, protected, nurtured, caressed, rocked-is not a luxury but a necessary condition for life. If babies do not get it, they die, and if they do not get enough of it, they do not thrive. As they grow up, they become fearful, neurotic, aggressive, and possibly criminal.”

“Someone close to us can also be thousands of miles away. Warmth becomes a more subtle but no less
important quality. Intimacy is not only physical, but also psychological and spiritual. It is the capacity to enter and to let enter, to get to know and to allow to be known. To reveal our own dreams, our strangest and most embarrassing sides. To be without fear.”

“… even having someone to talk to, to fill the emptiness of solitude is essential. For old people, the opportunity just to chat is useful in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Can this be a matter of mere intellectual stimulation? No. Another study shows that it is being touched that really helps old people who are afflicted with dementia to suffer less and be in a better mood.”

From The Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci.

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