Humans are incredibly fragile creatures. Just a moment of disruption in the development of the fetus can be the difference between life, or still-birth, or defect and dysfunction. Just a few moments without enough oxygen can cause permanent brain damage or death.
But even when the body and brain develop without traumatic injury, without physical disruption of any kind, the soul and the heart and the mind can incur damage that remains unseen to the casual observer. Indeed these wounds can become infected and fester unacknowledged by the wounded, unrealized even by those who love them.
We can interact with others whose souls are damaged to the point of death and never know. We can unwittingly contribute to the damage they have suffered, and because their own defenses are so fragile, one, small, unintentional unkindness could be the last assault that kills their souls beyond the possibility of healing.
We cannot know the state of another’s soul. We cannot know whether the person we encounter in a chance moment of our mundane life is sick unto death. We can only live each moment to the best of our ability.
We can choose to live mindfully and consciously. We can choose to live with kindness and generosity. We can choose to handle our Earth, its creatures and our fellow human beings, and yes, even ourselves, with care. We may never know if that small kindness is the moment when the damage ends and healing begins.