Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Since my world came crashing in late last October, as my husband lost his job, I've been privileged to see a quality of humankind that I hadn't noticed as poignantly before. Many, many, many people are kind. I don't mean nice, which here in the south can mean having the grace not to say what you really think. I mean having a thoughtful, sensitive nature that offers whatever this world has given to you freely to others.

As Naomi Shahib Nye wrote, in her poem, Kindness (excerpts):

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
Before you know kindness
as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow
as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness
that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day
to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

I posted on a thread yesterday, entitled 'Out of work? I'll buy something', started by VintageCarolina, whose alphabets are posted above. It was a generous offer, and what particularly prompted me to post was the expressed sentiments of some that "you've just opened up the door to more sob stories than any human should have to endure." and " I thought Etsy was some sort of loser magnet." I thought I'd stand up for myself and the other millions of families who are dealing with unemployment. So I posted:

'For Bruce, and any others who feel like they are reading sob stories from losers, read this:

We did not become losers or pathetic people when my husband lost his job, in my opinion. That you see it that way says everything about you and nothing about me.'

------Then left the computer. Hours later, having forgotten about this altogether, I had 3 sales in my shop! They were all from lovely Etsy sellers who had read the thread. My other two customers are hwinfield, an amazing abstract painter with beautiful triptichs, and jetflair, a jeweler working with high quality gemstones set in silver.

Thanks to these people for making a difference in my life- and to eachbeautiful soul out there who shines the light of kindness. May you all get back whatever you give through kindness tenfold! As well as the really sweet pieces of pottery that you will soon be recieving!


  1. Lee, this is wonderful. i so enjoy reading your blog and always feel happy when i have read a post. Your insights are always thoughtful and kind and i thank you for sharing them with us.

  2. wow! Very beautiful....just like the thread in the forums! There truly are some big hearted folks on Etsy!

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  4. The kindness in people and the number of great people out there is amazing! Take care.

  5. This is wonderful :) I also posted on that's always so good when you see people reaching out.

    I too am unemployed...not laid off, but finished school 5 months ago and so far nothing. It's sad that people think it's shameful - it's definitely not. Thanks for your post.

  6. I love reading your blog! I saw that thread, but didn't even open it to read because that's exactly what I thought it would be, another thread with a million sob stories. I/we have chosen not to be losers in life no matter what our personal circumstances happen to be at the moment (or years), so kudos to you for standing up and saying that! Think I might read that thread afterall...

  7. Thank you:) We all need to stand together though these tough times. This is an uplifiting post.

  8. People planting seeds of love and reaping the reward in love and kindness. Wonderful story, thank you for sharing. And the nice thing is, your customers get to remember their kindness and feel warm all over again, every time they see the beautiful pottery.

  9. Strength of character comes to mind! Thank you for your blog post about kindness!

  10. Etsy has a wonderful community that comes together time and time again. Best wishes to you!