A few days ago, a chicken with pinless peepers popped up in my newsfeed. Pinless peepers are these chicken-like glasses that block them from seeing directly what is in front of them. Chickens with these pinless peepers can still see to eat and drink. For the most part, they have had blinders put on them because of bad behavior. Some chicken keepers put these on those troublemaker hens. Usually it is as last ditch effort to prevent them from bullying or pecking at other flock members. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. After watching these chickens with pinless peepers, you realize that sometimes life becomes a whole lot more interesting when you live with blinders on.
Immediately, the chicken drama usually stops. Living “blindly” with peepers allows you only to see what truly matters. For the chickens it is food and water and the ability to get around. Chickens continues to do all things chicken- roost at night, dust bathe and even free range all drama free. Interestingly, the other flock members are still skittish around them even with the peepers on. They are afraid of being hurt again. I can’t blame them. Even when successful, chickens that had to wear the peepers are still kept at arm’s distance by the other chickens.
Chicken keepers usually leave these blinders on for a few months until one day they remove them and do a test. The goal is that the naughty chicken’s brain resets. Somehow, in this blinded time out they are able to see the world differently and will come back forgetting their old ways.
Sometimes, I feel like I too could use a blinder.
I admit that I am technologically exhausted. Every day my newsfeeds are flooding with so much information, mostly good but some things that are very upsetting and stick in my mind. I swear they haunt me. I have always been sensitive to others and I do know that I wear my heart on my sleeve but is it good that I am seeing all of this? I will never be desensitized to the world around me. I do think it is important to be aware of the world and what is occurring but I don’t think it is good to be bombarded with such horrific acts against the planet and its inhabitants on an hourly basis.
So, while traveling these past 2 weeks, I guess you could say that I was not as in touch. I had put a sort of “blinders” on if you will. I flew miles in airplanes, spent time in airports, drove hundreds of miles in cars and taxis and do you know what I did differently? I looked up. I put technology blinders on and began to do what I did more of years ago. I began to converse with those around me. I chatted with perfect strangers and passed the time. I helped a man who had a terrible fall at one of the venues where I was speaking. He smashed his face and was bleeding heavily. As a nurse, he needed me. I stayed until help arrived. I was able to alleviate his fears, his embarrassment and was able to spread a bit of kindness and empathy.
As the days went on, I held doors and shared smiles. I ate meals with complete strangers. I made new friends. I listened to people telling me tales of losing their favorite chickens. I met people and had deep conversations about meaningful things. With these blinders on, I unplugged and connected at a personal level with life around me. It felt good to live in these real moments. It felt good to realize that what is important is always what I chose to put in front of me at any given time in my day. So chose your family, chose friends, chose neighbors, chose those in need, chose those where you can make a difference. Even if the person right in front of you is a stranger.
What I learned these past two weeks is that kindness still exists and people as a whole need to give and receive a lot more kindness and compassion in their lives. Everyone is bearing their own burdens. A simple act or ounce of shared kindness creates memories that live in people’s hearts for years to come. Kindness is never forgotten.
Yes, kindness matters.
12 thoughts on “Kindness Matters”
This is beautiful!!!!
Often people are shocked by the kindness of others, I am shocked when I find no compassion or kindness. Living in a small country town in HAWAII , these acts of kindness and consideration are ubicquitious … Here it is called ALOHA,
I’ve lived here for many years and have only visited the mainland US one time. Honestly, it was frightening. I had to attend to my Mothers affairs after she passed
Or I would have had no reason to be there. It was like some strange country where everyone and everything are out of sinque . I don’t want to go back.
Thank you for that wonderful story.
Thank you for your comment Denise. Hawaii is one of my favorite places on earth and I have been blessed to be there quite a few times. I can understand why sometimes people never want to return home after visiting. It’s a place that I am always sad to leave. You live in a wonderful place.
Beautiful advice, Melissa. I’ll be having lunch with a sick friend today, and you’ve reminded me…. Kind gestures really do matter.
Thanks Lauren. Thanks for letting me use Lil’ White’s pic and I’m sending healing thoughts and prayers to your friend.
Thank you for your wise an beautiful insight. I needed to hear this today!
You are very welcome. I’m glad to know that it helped.
Dear Melissa, your post reflects what I have been thinking as well. It is too much for me as well. I have muted or taken myself off of a number of blogs/pages/twitter feeds. It is making me happier. I also stopped watching the evening news and the today show. Cast changes I found bothersome and so much death and destruction everywhere really was making me too tense about it all. Now I look if I feel inclined. I speak up for those who need help, do what I can to make things run better for others. I care for my elderly mom and son, four geriatric chickens and one ancient Thoroughbred mare. It is enough. I can breathe. Thank you for writing such an on point post! Pam in Janesville CA
Glad to know I am not alone Pam and it sounds like you are doing all the things that we have slowly been trying to do as a family as well. We live in such different times from even 10 years ago. None of us truly know how to navigate these waters, but at least we can take comfort in knowing that we are not alone. Enjoy your family, feathered, furry and human. In the end, it’s the relationships and what we chose to surround ourselves with that truly matter. XO
Beautiful post from a beautiful spirit. I am blessed to know you.
Thank you Maria!
This is so wonderful Melissa! I was just thinking about this the other day: that what we focus on, grows. If we focus on the negative, watch the news too much, pay attention to negative people too much, it begins to overwhelm us. I got rid of my cable television six years ago and I cannot tell you what a positive difference it has made in my life…. no more screaming, no more loud commercials, no more shows with shaky, swooping camera moves that keep you from thinking. *poof*.. gone. I read now, to get my news. I look up the weather online when I need to. I rent movies when I want that. Otherwise, the peace is blessed. 🙂
Love this Sarah! You are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing this with us.