"Mostly, we don't want to harm each other" Danusha Laméris: Small Kindnesses


"In her poem Small Kindnesses  Danusha Lamér wrote about those everyday things we do that send out ripples of hope and happiness. She began with:
I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs to let you by. 
And she continues with words about spilled groceries and the stranger that will bend to help you. Then the best line of the poem:
Mostly, we don't want to harm each other.
As she continues I found these words:
We have so little of each other, now....
Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.”
Credit: Copyright 2019 Danusha Laméris. First published in Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection from Green Writers Press.  
I saw a photo of this poem on Facebook. I was taken back to a piece of graffiti I photographed in the restroom of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence Italy. I loved this at the time and still do...it said in my thoughts, "If you see someone that needs a kind word of validation, take the time and tell them you like their shoes."

The poem resonated with me because it is the way small town people live their lives. It takes the whole village to keep everyone afloat. Now that I live in the city I find that people appreciate that small kindness of recognition and conversation more than ever. They simply want to be seen and appreciated for who they are on that particular day. Honestly, I believe that people are very lonely.

I especially liked that part of the poem that said "Mostly, we don't want to harm each other". The last few lines pointed out how tiny words can make a big difference, "Only these brief moments of exchange. What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here, have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat." "

I will be buying this book of poetry by Danusha Laméris when it is released in 2020. 

What are your favorite lines?

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Note: I also loved Insha' Allah (translates as Allah Willing and is commonly used in the Middle East by everyone. Those of us from a different culture might say "Good Lord Willing.). It is a beautiful poem about those small prayers we say over the making of bread or the care of our garden.

Comments

  1. You never know what wisdom you will find in a restroom.

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    1. Yes, it is often said that we need to pay attention to what goes on around us...the small things can make a big impact. Thank you for stopping by Rebecca.

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  2. Small kindnesses will hopefully lead to paying it forward with small kindnesses.

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    Replies
    1. I think it actually does. We live by example and that example sends small ripples out into the world. Be well.

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