My brother celebrated his birthday yesterday.
Birthdays for the Hudson clan are really big deals. We thrive on the attention, look forward to the day, and while most people just smile and put up with us on our special day, we tend to celebrate full tilt boogie. We let people know it is “our” day, we wear sombreros, and really, really hope there will be presents and cake.
My brother is a Hudson — through and through when it comes to birthday joy, but let me tell you another thing about Art. Art is a kind man.
He is also super funny, extremely talented and creative, he tells a good story, has a great memory, and is so very interesting. But for me, what really stands out about Art is his kindness.
The way I understand it, kindness emerges from someone. People who are confident, compassionate and comfortable with themselves tend to be kind. I happen to think that some people, like Art, are just born with kindness as a trait.
Art is the first to offer good wishes and good luck, to say a nice word, to find the positive. He is not mushy or overt, his kindness is general, it is not personal or specific.
The words of wisdom from Today’s Step on October 6th, (which happens to be my best friend birthday) is the simple reminder to “Be nice.”
Simple? Sure, in theory. But, being nice is not always easy and we can all use the reminder. We live in a nutty world, where most of the time, we are left wondering where we are going and why we are in a hand basket. It is easy to get mean or cynical. The purpose of Today’s Step is to support personal practice, so being nice is a practice that needs cultivation and is different from being kind.
I may be wrong here. Maybe there’s not a difference between being nice and being kind, but I’m going out on a limb and saying being nice is a decision, we make and practice — while kindness seems to be a trait.
I’ve come to this conclusion because of how I know Art.
My big brother doesn’t have to think about being kind, he just is.
K is for kindness, and the kindest man I know is Arthur Lloyd Hudson, who may be a Duke.