Shortly after the days of classroom education conclude and careers and families begin, most of our lives evolve into the fast track phase of life. We begin facing nonstop demands on our time, which, if left undisciplined, can take control of our lives.
However, it’s a good thing to stop along the way to just reflect for a while. This also gives us much needed personal time with our Creator.
When we get to the point of slowing down to do even a small amount of reflecting on the events of our lives, we will most likely remember some Small Act of Kindness that was at least a very memorable event in our life, if not even actually life changing.
Stop and think of your earliest memories. I realize there are some events you wish you could just as well forget …forever. But dig through and reflect on those years long enough until you remember someone
who demonstrated some true acts of kindness toward you. Obviously you will never forget that person or those people.
Growing up in a large family with very little of this earth’s goods, I can remember many such acts of kindness shown to me and my large family through those difficult growing up years. Acts like that of Mrs. Howell, my second grade teacher, a lady I will never forget.
School was out, and it was a few weeks into summer. I was playing with two of my nine siblings in our bare-dirt front yard. I remember seeing this really nice car coming up the dirt road to our house. I was so amazed! It was Mrs. Howell.
After parking on the side of the road, she got out of the car and went to the back. She waved for me to come down to the road, where she had stopped. As I approached, I remember her opening the trunk and saying to me, “I brought you something really special – and it’s just for you.” She reached into the trunk and brought out a little box containing some books. She handed me the box and then reached down and hugged this dirty, sweaty little 8 year old
I opened the package. To my absolute amazement, it was a 4-book set of the Lives of The Bobbsey Twins. She had remembered that during the school year that the “little Snow boy” had seemed to really enjoy her classroom readings of the Bobbsey Twins.
I could really get side-tracked here and tell you about many other acts of kindness shown to me throughout my growing up years, but that’s not the point of this writing. The point is about you and your acts of kindness toward others.
Now that you’re remembering some of those life changing events as you were growing up, let’s go back to the beginning of your memories one more time. This time, try to remember times you have demonstrated those true acts of kindness toward others.
Now think back to yesterday. To this past week. To the past month.
Whatever you think about, it most likely includes a warm fuzzy feeling. Kindness just does that. No wonder it’s a fruit of the Spirit. When we’re kind, others get to experience that warmth, and whether they realize it or not they’re experiencing some of God’s character
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12. The paraphrase of this verse is, of course, what we know as “The Golden Rule”. As a child, I was taught to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Just what is kindness?
Kindness comes from having the mind-set described in Philippians 2:3-4: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
To esteem others better than himself means putting the interests, cares, comforts of our fellowman above our own – forgetting ourselves and being considerate of others first.
Basically, kindness is a way of thinking that leads to doing thoughtful deeds for others. Kindness is humbly giving of ourselves in love and mercy to others who may not be able to give anything back, who sometimes don’t deserve it, and who frequently don’t thank us for it. Most often, this costs us little more than the effort to step outside of our own selves long enough to consider the people around us. Sometimes, it may even involve some amount of sacrifice of time, labor or money.
We all live with regrets of the times we could have shown kindness, but for some reason just failed to do so. However, think back on your playmates, classmates, siblings, parents or other adults who needed nothing but your kindness toward them, and you quickly and freely gave it.
The act could have been shown in many ways, but most commonly it’s a simple smile or hello, a compliment or sincerely asking how they’re doing, a helping hand or gift.Things that cost nothing but mean so much. They will be a constant reminder along life’s journey to live by the Golden Rule every day.
Every time I read articles about kindness, I’m inspired to show more kindness to all family and friends. I think most of us are like that. We need each other’s inspiration as we travel life’s highways, trying to figure it all out.
So please share your experiences with me. I need them. Your sharing them helps encourage us to be better people. What acts of kindness have you performed? What acts of kindness by others have blessed your life?
Please share your thoughts in the Comments Form or through email to me personally.