As a communications major, I recognize the irony of my existence; communication has been the most frustrating part of the human experience for me. I’m sure many people share this challenge!

When I think about how diverse we are as people (our likes, our dislikes, our genetics, our karma, our life experiences), it’s no wonder to me that most people find it difficult to communicate. We’re living in such different realities a majority of the time!

Understanding others requires us to be completely open to a different reality- at the very least, in that moment of conversation. Not to mention, many times, we’re bumping up against each other’s “blind spots.” That is to say, there are still aspects of ourselves that we are unaware of, and they’re constantly interacting with aspects of others that they aren’t aware of. 

When I think about it this way, it seems like there is barrier after barrier that keep us from understanding each other. 

But, there is a universal language that we can always use in communication: it’s called kindness. 

Kindness carries a vibration that can be felt. And sometimes kindness isn’t a word, but a smile that simply says, “I acknowledge the Divine in you.”   

For a long time I thought that kindness in conversation meant seeking to understand, or at least willing to understand. But we don’t need to understand each other at all to be kind… 

We don’t need to understand each other at all to be kind

A lot of judgment and meanness is a result of trying to figure out why someone isn’t conforming to our reality. It’s worth examining for ourselves why “our” reality is the one people should conform to. 

Ultimately, it might be helpful to toss understanding where our kindness is at stake. Kindness should be the bottom line, or the north star, in every interaction. Kindness requires humility— the humility to know that we are not more right than anyone else. The only thing we can do is to seek clarity in God for our own thoughts and actions, and practice kindness with others. 

And with that, I share Paramhansa Yogananda’s prayer from his Whispers from Eternity:

 

Come To Me As Kindness

Will that day dawn for me, O Divine Mother, when uttering Thy name will bring floods of tears, to inundate the droughtland of my heart and burst open the dark gates of my ignorance? Oh, then, in the lake of my gathered tears will grow the lotus of luminous wisdom: All darkness in my mind will be dispelled. O formless, all-pervading Mother Divine, come to me in the form of tangible kindness! Take me away from these shores of millennial sadness.