At a time when my workplace is implementing an institution-wide kindness initiative, I am moved by a sense of awe to see this book, Water Drop Journeys, being produced. On the surface, the book appears to narrate a straightforward tale of love and kindness, composed in simple language and structured in a comprehensible style for children, using characters and metaphors from nature. However, as the story unfolds, I am delighted to see the emergence of multiple layers of meaning embedded in the story. These layers of meaning are profound and pertain to important life lessons, thereby giving the attributes of love and kindness a powerful push in our adult mind. The impact is significant, particularly in the context of healthcare where kindness in the relationships between patients, caregivers and health practitioners are a key factor in healing.

As parents we hope that our children will learn to handle emotions well and maintain a positive outlook in life. We also like them to be able to overcome adversity and progressively attain wisdom in the course of their growth. Attributes of this nature would operate from within the child and are understandably hard to teach. However, these attributes have an effect on other aspects of youth development such as showing compassion, learning to share, cooperating in teamwork and demonstrating thoughtfulness. In this respect, Water Drop Journeys has, within the framework of a skillfully articulated story, encapsulated the wisdom of sharing and caring while teaching the essence of loving-kindness with subtlety.

Love and kindness are values that we, as adults, prize and strive to develop in ourselves. We certainly would wish to nurture these characteristics in our children in their growing years. Kindness refers to the way we treat others with warm-heartedness and consideration. It is revealed in the way we behave towards other people or interact with them. I believe that at the heart of human happiness is the way we relate with each other. When we are able to connect with each other with kindness, it becomes one of our strongest and most meaningful way to exist as human beings.

From this simple story of a water drop, the reader would grasp the principle that acts of kindness are brought about by our understanding of the needs of other people. It is reinforced by our belief of what constitutes behavioral norms and duties that we owe to others. The practice of loving-kindness ranges far and wide and penetrates deep into our human psyche. Kind behaviour is determined by what we inherently believe in and not by our desire to be praised, admired or liked. When we are kind, we are true to ourselves, our values and our beliefs, and it costs us nothing to be so.

Water Drop Journeys is an easy-to-read book. Its story contains themes of interconnectedness with nature interspersed with short passages of guided mindfulness meditation. It is a valuable contribution to our expanding understanding of what it truly means to be a kind and compassionate person. The moment we are able to appreciate loving-kindness, we will understand as human beings, we are a part of greater whole and possess a pattern in us that corresponds in similarity with that of the universe. In other words, we are a microcosm within a macrocosm. Added to this are the natural laws of change and conservation of energy in nature being highlighted. Changes are occurring everywhere and with everybody. The mindful individual will be able to initiate changes through choice, will, continuity and with practice. The book also makes reference to the fusion of materiality and spirituality in all human beings and reminds us to practice the art of contemplation. What is going on within us is reflected by what is without.

I recall a ten-day mindfulness meditation retreat that I sat through some years ago in a  quiet forest area in Malaysia.  It was one of the calmest and most peaceful state of mind that I have ever attained, and on the last day of the program a loving-kindness meditation was introduced. When I read the short mindfulness scripts provided in Water Drop Journeys, I was immediately reminded that loving-kindness is something that needs to be nurtured within a peaceful state of mind, and that mental cultivation is part of an ongoing journey of learning. I am extremely delighted that the author has interwoven her tale of love and kindness with short mindfulness scripts that she has labelled as “rituals”.

One of the deepest implications of the tale of love and kindness I find in this book is that of the interconnectedness of man with nature which helps to make a person whole and sound. It is about the healing property of relationships between people who are living in harmony that lies at the heart of what transpires between patients and their caregivers as they walk the path together.

Let us not forget that many of us are struggling with a stressful worklife and a fast tempo of living, which leaves us with little  time and space for compassion and consideration for our fellow human beings.  My hope is that this book will contribute in a major way to the development of a kindness culture, not just in the healthcare sector but in all areas of our life.


Dr Peter Mack

MBBS, FRCS(Ed), FRCS(G), PhD, MBA, MHlthEcon, MMEd

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