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police car
Jul 10, 2017

Human Kindness – the (He)art of Human Being

Guest post by HannaH Ras

It was about nine o’clock in the evening and dark when I left my ex-husband with my children in the car. My emotions were high because one of our deepest and most persistent triggers had flared up again. It was all about feeling mistrusted and not being valued. Over and over again.

I felt hurt and tried to cope with it as much as I was able.  We were on our way home to my apartment and I felt very responsible.

Despite my intention to take good care of everyone, the confusion made me forget to switch on the car lights. While turning onto the highway, I noticed this.  I immediately switched them on. At the same time, a motor cop approached from behind. And yes, he signaled that I should turn over and stop.

This was too much for me at the moment. It had been an awkward evening as it was, and I didn’t need any more trouble and humiliation. I decided that I was not going to get a ticket from this cop. I just didn’t deserve it today!

Of course, the cop needed to see my driver’s license and asked if there was a reason for driving in the dark without lights. Ill-tempered, I answered that there never is a reason for such behavior. He got a bit irritated and told me he wasn’t standing on the sideway with me for philosophical reasons. Yeah, right! I simply tried to avoid more pain.

“Have you been drinking perhaps….?” the cop asked.

No, of course I had not!!!

Then he went to his phone and started to inquire after me. I couldn’t believe it. Was this about mistrust and not being valued or not?! At that point, something inside me broke and although I didn’t want to, I started crying in front of the car where my children were anxiously watching what was happening. I felt terribly vulnerable and alone.

At that moment, the cop turned to me again. He saw my tears and said, “I don’t know what is the matter, but I can see you are having a hard time. What you did was wrong, but I am not going to give you a ticket. Is there anything I can do for you right now?”

I was absolutely surprised. And I immediately got in touch with what I most longed for in that odd moment. I simply wanted to be held by someone! Could that be by this policeman? Picturing this in my mind, I started to laugh through my tears, with the cop still watching me. After a moment, I decided that I was going to be absolutely honest with him. So I told him that I simply wanted to be held by someone and ended by saying, “But that would look a bit strange in this situation….” Imagine… Here we were standing alongside a busy road – a crying mother and a tall, well-muscled uniformed policeman next to his car.

What came next was even more surprising. He confirmed that it would look strange if he held me. Then, instead of embracing me, he stepped right in front of me, made heartfelt contact with me, and gazed softly in my eyes while putting both his hands on my shoulders. He kept looking and holding me this way for what seemed like hours. It opened my aching heart to trust and value myself again. Then he nodded his head towards the car where eight wide eyes (the dog included) were watching this scene, and he said, “Go! … Take them home!”

I went home with a sense of loving kindness in my heart that warms me even now. We took this experience with us throughout our lives as a precious gift. It restored our faith in life and humanity. And it gave us the promise of the endless healing power of love. Just through a simple and sincere gesture of human kindness.

Afterwards, I heard that this event had spread throughout the police station as well. It had been a remarkable experience for the giver as well as the receiver.

Yes, love is contagious and kindness is how it spreads……….

With love and gratitude,

HannaH Ras 

HumanKindness Foundation

The Netherlands