Kindness : The Real Deal

Now that the big holiday is over, this kindness series wouldn’t be complete without a little griping on my part.  You know me.

Kindness, without the actual feeling to back it up, is an empty bromide.  (I like the brainiac word.  A vacuous platitude.  Like a sedative.)  It’s “kind-ishness.”  Just going through the motions.  Billy Crystal would probably say it’s better to look kind than to be kind.

Stephen Colbert as the fictional Stephen Colbert

I prefer Stephen Colbert:  This is “kind-i-ness.”

Those “kind-i-ness” folks are probably doing the best they can.  But get me around someone I suspect isn’t coming through with the real feeling in there to back it up, and I get hives.

I insist, then, it’s unwise as a general rule to rely on others to come through with kindness of the real-deal, accept-no-substitutes, sine-qua-non kind.

As the barkeep at the Katnip Lounge said on my last post, “You know why I like animals so much? No big frontal cortex to get in the way of being true to yourself.”

And being true to others.  Being true, period.  Take a look at this pic, which I got forwarded through e-mail the other day:

This is Lily and Maddison.  As the BBC reported, Lily suffered an awful condition requiring extraction of her eyes.  So, for five years now, Maddison has been her seeing-eye-dog.  They are inseparable.

photo by The Sun

I make no comment on the (un)kindness of our species’ (un)willingness to adopt both (big, admittedly) dogs together.  Specimens of our species are apparently shocked at the idea of a dog with no eyes.  Let’s hear it, then, for the hundreds of others of our kind with their hearts more in the right place.

Bugs has strong reservations about us opening our space to – dogs.

He’ll make an exception.  Just this once.

About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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20 Responses to Kindness : The Real Deal

  1. Well…I think the Horde would draw the line at any other species. But there is kindness and friendships amongst themselves, and they and us. They also mourn.

    • nadbugs says:

      I keep thinking my Bugs is filled with emotion. So why not the gamut, at least of the mad-sad-glad-bored variety. I hate to think of them mourning. Tugs at my heart. As for other species, the way Horde-members freak out about respond to the evil hummers . . . .

  2. Christine Haller says:

    Now I know what I’m suffering with today…a bad case of post-Christmas, post obligatory-gift-giving, post-opening-my-home-to-people-I feel-anxious-around-but-can’t-say-it-to, puss filled, inflammatory kind-i-ness-itis. Speaking of empty bromides…this s*#t isn’t settling my stomach AT all.


  3. Just lost a lengthy reply into Never-Neverland. I think that was probably a sign from the ipad gods that I should keep it short and sweet… The gist of it was that this is a great addition to the kindness series. And Kitty & I agree with Bugs – we’d be all for Lily and her seeing eye dog joining the family. But maybe that’s easy to say from a 750 sq ft condo with 100 sq ft yard on an island in the middle of the ocean.

    • nadbugs says:

      Vexed at the ipad gods, for not being able to enjoy the full benefit of your lengthy reply . . . I’m glad you’re liking the series. I just love writing it! and even more so, knowing you’re there at the other end. In your condo in the yard on the island in the ocean. What a picture. May the sea breezes blow gently on you and yours.

  4. Dianda says:

    Sometimes I wish, humans could be just animal. Like Lilly and Maddison.

    • nadbugs says:

      The simplicity would be wonderful. Our challenge as another species altogether, though, is so much more difficult. I guess that’s what we were put on this earth to work out — but I agree, this kind of purity, clarity — would be such a relief. I feel it, by reflection, in these pictures. I hope so for you, too.

  5. I can’t fathom what could be occurring in the former owners to justify abandoning them. It is hard enough to find a home for a blind dog, let alone one who has a clear bond and need for her guide-dog friend. I also can’t fathom how anyone could say, “Well, I’ll take one of them.” Thank goodness this story got some press, and now those two dogs can find their true forever home where they BOTH can live and be loved. I’ve heard of a similar pair of cats, and we also featured an actual guide dog who lost his sight — his person got another “seeing eye” dog, and she now guides both the dog and the man!

  6. littlemiao says:

    I don’t understand how people could abandon such a beautiful and unique pair of dogs, or any other creature for that matter. I’m okay not understanding it. I sincerely hope these two have found a loving forever home.

    • nadbugs says:

      I imagine there would be reasons one couldn’t manage these two any more — but if it were me, I’d move heaven and earth to find them a home myself, personally, so I could be absolutely sure they’d stay together. But perhaps there could be reasons for failing to do that, too — like for example a health emergency with the humans . . . . But even so, if it were me, I would pester my animal-loving friends to help me. I could be OK with not understanding, as you are — but I’m not. I have such misgivings about the attitudes that could put these beauties at risk.

  7. Ahhh, I’m so glad you wrote about this pair. Those photos really tug at my heartstrings. I can’t comprehend people who would think of separating these two. Indeed – “Let’s hear it, then, for the hundreds of others of our kind with their hearts more in the right place.”

    • nadbugs says:

      Yes. I know there would be practical reasons to say “no,” even though while wanting to with all one’s heart — but why oh why can’t our species say it that way, instead of the way it’s reported above? I wonder whether I will ever really understand that. I try, but I doubt it. It’s just beyond me.

  8. MelanieJ says:

    Kind-i-ness gives me the hives as well, blech. People aren’t idiots, they can tell when the kindness shown to them isn’t genuine, and it’s not only annoying but incredibly insulting.

    I am constantly heart-broken at stories like that pair of Great Danes.

    I am enjoying your series on kindness as well… it’s something that many people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about, and one that needs to be revisited so often to remind us to keep the kindness flowing!

  9. AuntieBellum says:

    I thought I recalled seeing a few weeks ago that these two were being adopted together? It was on Facebook somewhere, which of course is blocked at the office, so I can’t find it right now…

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