Choose to Be Kind
Childhood Bullying. Senseless Shootings. Boycott Battles.
This is the world we live in today. And in the swirl of words spewing back and forth in schools and theatres and comment sections on blogs, my heart is grieved.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve read more than my share of articles and blogs on these three subjects. They keep popping up on my Facebook feed. And I’ve read responses and counter responses in an attempt to make sense of it all.
When did we all get so angry? What kind of example are we setting for our children? How can we teach children to get along when we can’t even get along ourselves?
Those are the initial questions that run through my mind. As I’ve wrestled through the various issues, there are no easy answers. And that makes it difficult to know how to go about living in this mixed up world. Perhaps you’ve had these same thoughts.
How should we respond? And how will we teach our children to respond? Remember, they will learn far more by our actions than our words. Every day, we make choices that help or hurt others, that shine light or darkness. What is your choice? How will you live your life?
For me, I choose to be kind.
I will look for ways to show kindness to those I meet each day.
I will smile at them.
I will offer a kind word of encouragement or a listening ear.
I will show them love in tangible ways, as God leads. Maybe something as simple as opening the door for someone with their hands full of packages. Or making a meal for a single mom who works all day. Or giving flowers to someone going through a rough time. Or inviting a neighbor over for coffee.
A family from our church teaches their children to be a blessing to others by making ‘blessing bags’ to give to those in need. When their kids see someone standing on the corner, they give them a bag with crackers, a bottle of water and some necessities. This is a simple way for kids to be involved in acts of kindness.
Even in the midst of schoolyard bullying or boycotting, we are told to “live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing…” (I Peter 3:8-9).
As a child, I remember a time when I was squabbling with my sister. My Dad said to me “K.Y.B.” What? “Kind Ye Be.” It was his way of reminding me to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as, in Christ, God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
By simply being kind and showing compassion to others, we can shine light into darkness.
What if we all began to live this way?
Come, join me. Let’s all choose to be kind.
“Be kinder than necessary…for everyone is fighting some kind of battle.”