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the smallest act of kindness

Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?

If we were sent out into the world, the Tower of Babel, of all mixed backgrounds and cultures, how could we help to define our individual being and beliefs? How would you describe yourself and your values to someone with a limited vocablulary?
Well, WordPress is that universal international lightning rod for communication. So, please see below for an idea and then create your own list to share.

If my world were reduced to seven words, there is no question I would want words that have more than one meaning. I was raised with the tale that we are each given a different number of words, and upon completion of our usage, we pass on. It is my hope that my integer is quite large as I always have something to say. My feelings are strong, as are my opinions, and I have been gifted with a vocabulary that allows me to express the range of emotions and responses to stimuli.

All that being said, my first word choice would be EMPATHY. The Native Canadian residents in the Northernmost Provinces have multiple words for Snow. Yes, it is white, cold, wet….but it comes in shades of gray, or states of being, such as icy, melting, or soft. That is how I see the value of Empathy. One word contains the active listening, imagining, impacting, compassionate, aware, loyal, protective, supportive, desire to understand and guide others to that place of being.

KINDNESS is the action taken when empathy is present. It is a genuine desire to take the level of concern and create a safe environment where the expression of all that compassion and protection can take place. Kindness acknowledges that people are struggling and looks for a way to comfort and create a cycle of action that aids and upholds, while leaving the recipient with self-esteem and respect.

FAMILY would be a part of my top seven, for without family, no world could exist. There would be no concept of a loving father or mother, a place where you can welcome others and bring them close simply because that is what you choose to do in bringing them into the world. Responsibility and the sharing of values, oral traditions of storytelling, and the giving of history and artifacts, makes Family a necessary piece of our evolution and trajectory of growth. We go forward, unsure but determined, to create a future for our children and a legacy for those whom we mourn.

ABUNDANCE is the measurement by which we can ascertain if we have enough to pay our bills or determine the satisfaction in our days. It concretizes the gift of food on our tables, roofs over our heads, and a way to measure all that we have been given. Even if there is loss, we have a sizeable way to acknowledge the scope of effect.

HUMOR gives us a way to share laughter even if only by seeing the same image without the words to express or translate. It is a smile that embraces the irony of our challenges yet strengthens us for more. We cannot agree on many issues; divisive topics like religion, politics, sex and money can drive ever increasing wedges between us. However, a laugh can ease the tension and break down the outer layer of anger, engaging us to see the lighter side of our complicated worlds.

FEAR is not something to be desired, but it exists without permission. It creeps up inside of us, or circles around us, finding its footing in the dark recesses of our mind. It triggers responses like empathy, and kindness, or the protective enclosure of a strong family. Without its contrast, we would not realize how valuable and critical the most basic parameters and definition of our language.

Lastly, PEACE, the most sought after state of accomplishment, satisfaction, reward, and relief in our minds, our hearts, our souls and our homes is vastly desired. It is a state so impermanent, that a word must be created to encompass the change in our breath, the indescribable apex of our emotion, and the security and respite of our grief. It is the state of unquestioning, acceptance, and agreeable. It is the homeostasis achieved when we incorporate Empathy, and its accompanying kindness, compassion, humor, encompassing family, and abundance to conquer our fear and name that which we sought to achieve all along in our brief allotment of words.

What seven words would you choose? Could you create WONDER in your life, or someone else’s, with your priorities? I would love to hear what they are! Please share!

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5 Comments

  1. This is a great idea! I love your words too. Would you mind if I made a post sometime along this same idea?

  2. More helpful than creating New Year’s Resolutions, your post allowed me to think about those things I want to shape my year around and those things that I want for myself and for others. Thank you for sharing this idea – one to ponder at the beginning of everything new perhaps? My seven words would be – SHARE, CARE, DARE, BE, HEAL, LISTEN and LOVE

    • I am so glad that you joined in and did this! Your words certainly make me pause and think. Wonderful exercise and a great idea to create a beginning when we need it.

  3. I love your choices. Well said.


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Seven Words | Rose with Thorns on 10 Jan 2014 at 10:09 pm

    […] theempathyqueen posted about reducing one’s beliefs to seven words.  This concept fascinated me.  If I had to choose only a few words to sum up my entire life and […]

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