I'm one of those women who can be sitting in a room and can determine who is having a great day, who is having an awful day, who needs encouragement, and who needs a good laugh, and somehow God puts people in my life who are not very sensitive and it allows me to grow a tougher skin when needed.
All in all my sensitivity has lead me to believe that being kind is the ultimate to not only building relationships with others, and sharing God's love, but also being allowed to meet so many different people. I have friends of all races, all backgrounds, all socioeconomic groups, churched, un-churched, and kindness has always been the key factor in being allowed "in" to their lives.
I recently picked up a book called "Random Acts of Kindness" and the stories and quotes that are shared are just awesome. It was a cute, small little book, that could easily be fit into my purse and be read while the kids are playing at the park, or while John is driving in the car. The stories are short and the quotes are meaningful. For the next couple of weeks I'd like to make My Case for Kindness and share some reasons, some stories, some ideas why I feel it is so important to be kind to people.
After all one way for us to give glory to the Lord is to show love for his people. All people matter to God. Not just pretty, perfect people, all people. As a matter of fact, people who can give us nothing back (widows and orphans) are the people that God calls us to bless and show kindness to the most! I know it's easy to show kindness to those we love naturally, to those who do great things for us, to those who go above and beyond for us, but God calls us to push aside our selfish ways and to be kind to those who are not necessarily kind back to us.
I grew up with my mom always saying, "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all." This little phrase caused me to bite my tongue many a time, especially when I wanted to talk back to my parents or lash out at one of my sisters. But that phrase is true even today as an adult. Often times people say things to us and our immediate reaction is to lash out or snap a quick hurtful word back...and many times the best thing to do is to say nothing at all, and walk away from the situation.
Recently I was in Barnes and Noble purchasing some gifts. The woman behind the counter was so kind to me. She was sweet. She was polite. She offered to wrap my gifts. She made a separate transaction just to give me gift receipts. And the woman behind me in line waited so patiently and smiled and even though I felt bad that I was taking long to get the gift receipts she made me feel it was okay and that she wasn't in a rush. We even all laughed together because when the cashier asked if she could wrap my gifts I politely declined and said, "Actually I have a theme going for a certain little girl who is about to turn 1, yes I know, I'm one of those neurotic aunties!" And the woman behind me said, "I"m like that too!" These women were just so kind to me, and it made my whole experience at the store so pleasant.
Do you ever get antsy, or sigh loudly in line because things are taking too long and you are in a rush? I know I have, and these ladies taught me a lesson in kindness. We should all be so kind as to allow people the time they need, and stop being so focused on rushing here and there and forget the importance of people.
"We do not remember days, we remember moments."--Cesare Pavese... Isn't this quote so true? I know even now looking at my 2 1/2 year old and almost 4 year old, so much time has gone by that I forget all of the hard nitty gritty daily things, but I remember the special moments we spent as a family, or holidays, or milestones, days when we took time to focus on what was really important...people. It helps me to remember that each day with my kids and my husband, may I be kind so that they remember a happy, loving mommy, who wanted to make life wonderful and meaningful for them.