I turned on my kitchen radio to listen to NPR while making dinner last night and heard a novelist being interviewed. She recounted the story that had inspired her novel about a situation where she had been unkind and insensitive to the feelings of a girl with a facial deformity. The novelist commented that she had learned, “If you need to make a choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.”

This comment made me think about my guide’s distinction between what is universal and what is unique. And how often people take personal experiences or insights and then make broad sweeping generalizations. My guides say, “Be like a zephyr, be like a hurricane, steady like an oak, and bend like a willow.” Appropriate behavior stems from the understanding that there is not one right way to be, every response needs to be seen within the context of the circumstance.

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