A Guest Post by James Claire on Kindness

by Anita Menon

I am an avid reader of Bahrain This Month magazine.  As soon as I get a copy of BTM, I flip directly to the last page to read through the “ Last Word‘ written by Mr. James Claire. I admire the way he can pick up the most mundane of topics and turn it into something absolutely spectacular to ponder about.  Some people are gifted like that. They see that special something in anything banal ( banal to the eyes of people, like me). I feel it is an extraordinary ability to pick up an emotion, issue, thing, person and then weave the magic of words. Most important, there is always a lesson, a moral, a view-point at the end of each of his articles. I have keenly observed the way he writes and cannot find enough words to show how much it have impressed me. So when our paths crossed on twitter ( @jamesclaire1) I decided to follow him right away.

James responded immediately by following back and we checked each other’s blog out.  James blogs at http://thescribe-jamesclaire.blogspot.com/ where he not only writes about what he sees on a daily basis but also about his life. There is so much wisdom there, that I cannot help but get addicted to his posts like I am to his column in Bahrain This Month. I invited him to do a guest post on my blog as I want everybody who reads my blog to also know and read James’s blog. I am sure that each one of you will enjoy it as much as I did. So while you do enjoy what you read, do not forget to spread the word.

Thank you, James. It really is such a privilege to have you write here for my space.

James sent me a wonderful article on  Kindness. I was impressed and touched, all the same. He has showered me with a lot of undeserved appreciation ( which I pleaded with him to edit out but he wouldn’t have it any other way!!) . So, people, here is James’s note on ” Kindness” and how important this emotion is  to him personally.

P.S.  I have NOT paid him write all these nice things about me!! :-) But it sure feels nice :-)

On Kindness – by James Claire

It is an honor to have been asked to guest post on my friend and blog master Anita Menon’s – A Slice Of My Lyfe. Without Anita, I was but an aging dinosaur with no clue of much in the techno blogosphere of the modern age. A dinosaur who had almost given up hope of learning such. A little afraid or shy to return to school and classrooms over the age of 40 to learn such things , especially when others profess, “It’s easy”. Everyone else, well except my parents, are face-booking, blogging and are up to date. When did I fall behind? I’m scared to attend classes for such things out of fear I’d be the only mature student ! Classes too are inconvenient and expensive.

What I needed was the kindness of a friend to just sit me down and explain clearly what I needed to know. But where to find such kindness in this very often capitalistic, money hungry life style we all seem to be leading in such a hurry. To shorten a lengthening story, Anita offered the kindness of time, skill and friendship to teach me. And therefore a guest blog on her site should be about one of my friend’s greatest assets, her unquestioning kindness to the world.

I appreciate kindness more than most. Many years ago, in a past life so to speak, I had a vastly successful other career. At the height of it and with multiple events occurring around the launch of my latest book, I received a Christmas card from my childhood best friend. Until that day we had spoken on the phone every week, hand written letters to each other at least monthly to tell of new girl friends, new jobs being offered us and how we both missed the high school and primary school days of our recent youth. This day, too busy with my own success, I did not open and read his Christmas Card, but instead sat a work load of papers on top of it and summarily forgot its arrival. A few days later, Christmas had been and gone. Sitting in my office alone,I received a phone call from another school yard friend. They asked a simple question, “Had I heard the sad news of his suicide.”

They say, “time heals all wounds,”, well let me tell you it does not.

To this day I can still feel the guilt and shame of picking up the Christmas Card from under the pile of work papers, as I sat the phone down and slumped back into my chair looking at that envelope. Never had something so simple as an envelope scared me so much. What were the contents?

While I agree, even had I opened the card earlier things may still have reached the  same historical conclusion, it is the fact that he left the world not knowing that I was indifferent to everyone upon it. That I cared! That as my closest friend he had the love of a thousand suns within me! He should have known that I was the sort of person who would answer a card arrived with an immediate answer or call especially at such a heart-felt time of year..

Ralph Waldo Emmerson said,” You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon,  it will be too late…………”

And I so agree.

Procrastination is not a blessing. Many people today see me as being brash, impetuous, of not thinking before I do and say things. Some who truly do not know me, see it as immaturity, a cavalier attitude with others hearts and minds or simply as me being foolish. Thankfully not many people have experienced the sadness and shock that I did back in 1990. More than most people, I value speed of saying what I think and feel, for I never want another to pass without my emotions being stated. If I meet you and you are kind, I want to tell you and buy you a gift to thank you for that kindness. If you slow down entering a merge lane and allow my car to enter traffic, I will take the time to wave and mouth “thank You”, because I am thankful for your kindness. If you take the time to meet me, or simply stop to say “Hi” in passing, I will take the time to buy you a coffee or stand and talk, because I thank you for your kindness.  We are an evolving species. We have as a race, achieved great things. But if we lose humanity and kindness, respect and appreciation in the race for technological advancement then have we achieved anything at all? I think not!

For now, I adore my home of Bahrain and the friendship of such amazing people  as Anita , who offered kindness to teach a dinosaur the ways of the internet, and then offered the kindness of allowing me to Guest blog on her site to speak of such trivialities as human kindness!

Perhaps the world is slowly changing a few degrees to the better. The cynic within doubts it.

But the dreamer inside me hopes that  it will one day come to pass that the world is as emotionally forward, and fast to thank and offer kindness as the giga-bytes and nano-chips which we pursue in the name of evolution.

Oh what a wonderful world it would be!!