Into every life a prickly person must come. I find them in the neighborhood, at church, at the store and on the sidewalk. Some are just passing by, but some are in my life for the long haul. Kindness as a virtue seems especially challenging for me in these situations. Most often my first impulse is to placate the person to protect myself. This habit established itself early in my life and produces faux kindness, not the real thing.
Kindness comes easily towards kittens, babies and friendly people. But most virtues aren’t easy, so I suspect that the trait has a deeper meaning. I believe that true kindness comes from the heart and should not be hampered by any expectation of results. Maybe the prickly person will mellow, maybe not. My kindness should not be conditional on what I receive back.
Faking kindness comes easily to me sometimes. Actually having a conversion of my heart towards a prickly person means I must cede control. I can acknowledge my distrust (as I do towards the porcupine baby in the photo) without forcing a smile. And I can continue trying to cultivate genuine kindness in my center.