“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship; and he who plants kindness gathers love.” ~ St. Basil
A friend whose erudition and talent I admire greatly wrote a poem citing St. Basil yesterday. He later commented on the fact that Basil was a good writer with good instincts. Today I wanted to write about kindness and stumbled upon this quote. Seems I need to pay more attention to St. Basil. I’m adding him to my summer reading list, for sure. (For me, summer is when I read the “meaty” things. During term time, I stick to less taxing fare.)
But kindness was what I wanted to discuss today. Sometimes, sadly, I have to remind myself to be kind. I wish it came more naturally, and it sometimes comes easily, but there are many times I don’t want to extend myself even the merest iota. I have to admit that today was one of those days. Someone needed an ear, and I just didn’t want to.
I had plenty of reasons not to listen: I have a headache; I have grading to do; I want to read the book I just got from the library. All legitimate, but (un)fortunately I have an overdeveloped Dudley Do-Right complex.
With much mental girding of loins, I got through it, smiling even, and I know it was good for my soul, and I’m a better person for doing it. That’s what I always tell myself when I’ve done a duty I didn’t want to do! Whatever gets us through, right?
But St. Basil is correct, of course. When I plant kindness, I do gather love. And because love is what it’s all about, it pays me great dividends to extend myself. Someday I’ll be the one who needs the ear, and I know someone will be there.
It is very true that what we sow, we reap. Good thing to keep in mind those days when we’re feeling selfish, or perhaps just self-absorbed. Most times a little kindness costs little to nothing and the dividends are enormous.