The Kindness Response
Rabbi Lance J. Sussman Ph.D.
On November 3, 2020, I had emergency heart surgery. As part of the healing process, I unwittingly intensified my writing poetry in gratitude to those who saved my life and supported me in the harrowing days which followed. In the hospital, I was deeply moved by the constant kindness of the healthcare professionals and my family members who helped me back to life. I saw in them a "kindness response" to life which I always knew existed but now appreciated as the core value of what it means to be a human being.
This slim book mostly includes poems written in the wake of my brush with death at the age of 66, events of the last two years and a few pieces reflecting on previous experiences. I hope it adequately expresses my gratitude to those who took care of me in my hour of need and helps others see the need for kindness in everything we do in the hospital, on the street, and at home.