Militant altruism

When I first heard the phrase “militant altruism”, I felt averse to the thought of “forcing” one’s kindness upon others. I envisioned bossy plump ladies grinning manically, as they fed you soul food and preached resilience, asserting their suffocating warmth upon your weakling ass. I saw their gleaming eyes, frenzied with utmost concern and care; I heard judgment in every word, every breath effusing out of their powdered pores; I could see that to them, anything was fixable, anything could be remedied with cake, and after you’ve cried your share, you are supposed to get off your lazy ass and do something for others.

And I realized, as time went on, that I was projecting my own mistreatment and trauma onto the walls of the proverbial cave – the pain of the scared child, ripping its soul out, so afraid of the same thing happening to her again. And I realized that just because the scary bossy ladies do exist, it is no guarantee I am to become one; it is no promise or prophecy of kindness always reeking of aimless sacrifice, always profoundly painful and stoically psychotic.

And in my slow trauma processing, it dawned on me, finally, that true kindness and humanity ARE NOT judgmental. That kindness and humanity WILL NOT be forceful. That it DOESN’T have to hurt to receive or give kindness. That there is no shame, no hidden agenda; that I do not have to play hide-and-seek with myself and others to experience human compassion. That in my recovery I DO NOT have to trample another; NO ONE has to suffer for another’s sake.

Do you hear me? Do you hear me, my little child, my little forgotten baby?.. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER. Kindness is not suffering. Kindness is not sacrifice. Kindness doesn’t hurt. Those are all lies a deeply wounded child’s mind can invent for self-protection. Those lies are told by traumatized who cannot free themselves from the nets of the past suffering. Those are lies!

Kindness feels good. It feels so freaking good to see other people’s faces radiate with joy. It feels so freaking good to hear pleasure in another’s voice. It makes you want more of it. You feel so full, your heart feels like it’s bursting with joy.

Kindness is never scary. It is never cruel. It doesn’t hurt you to “spare” you worse pain. Kindness is never demanding. It is never violent.

The only violence of kindness is its never-failing ability to prevail. The violence of kindness is in its avalanche of unstoppable waves of possibilities. Kindness has born humans. Kindness has made us who we are. And it is not exclusive to our species, either.

And I am no longer afraid of my own kindness. I am no longer afraid to shed my protective layers of cruelty, insecurity, pain endured alone, fiery vengeance, and cold-hearted malice. I am willing to display my vulnerable human core that is filled to the brim with kindness.

And one day, you and I, my comrade, my solace, we will join hands in our soulful wish to share the kindness with another. And we’ll illuminate the world, as the new dawn will approach us, the dawn of human, the dawn of compassion, the dawn of communism.