An Ode to Kindness

Let us not mistake compassion for agreement
At its best compassion is deep respect and understanding
Let us not reduce it to big smiles and to an overly polite attitude
Merely not wanting to rock the boat is not compassion.
Let us wake up to the ways we are fooling ourselves
And take responsibility for everything that we are
Including the darkness we are so afraid to face.
Let us first and foremost be nicer to ourselves
For not having measured up to those high standards we admire so much
For kindness starts with our own very selves, right at home
And then and only then it radiates outwards.