I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness lately. Kindness makes a difference in the difficulties surrounding me — whether they be deeply personal, or impact the entire human race. Kind thoughts, words, and actions assuage feelings, soothe souls, and make things right, or at least, more right. On the other hand, unkind thoughts, words, and actions, make everything more difficult, and more dark.
I’m saddened by how remarkably easy it is for us as humans to adopt attitudes, behaviors, and words that are unkind. Lately, to make matters worse, unkind acts seem to be more readily accepted, magnified, justified, and even cheered on in news reports and on social media.
Enough is enough.
I’m reminded of the scripture “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, what ever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” (Philippians 4) Kindness in thought, word, and deed, is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy, so I am going to think and speak of them a bit.
Let me tell you about an act of kindness done directly for me. I got an email the other day with the subject “Have courage!” These three young friends learned I wasn’t well, and decided to do something about it. They wanted me to find courage — to fight, to win, to get well, and to be ok in the process. Their desire was kind. And I am incredibly grateful for it.
But, they weren’t done. They didn’t just wish me well, and encourage me to be strong. They chose to think and act with creativity and kindness, and actually send me courage! How fantabulous are they? The canvases are en route and I can’t wait to receive them and hang them.
These girls reminded me of Leon Logothetis. If you don’t know Leon, it’s worth your while to give him a look. His gig and mission is highlighting the good in humanity, and if you ask me, being a champion of kindness. His definition of kindness is: The act of truly seeing someone and making them feel less alone.
That is what these three girls did. They saw me. As my kindergartners would say “They REALLY saw you, Ms. James!” and they made me feel less alone.
I chose the title of this post — Courage through Kindness — to highlight the courage that I received through these lovely humans’ kind thoughts and deeds. But as I wrote the words, I thought “Kindness is a form of courage.” To choose to think and act in kind ways is courageous — and fantabulous. I am honored and blessed to know these three and their families. Their kindness and love is powerful. I trust their love and kindness — and they themselves — will only grow in might, beauty, and influence. Reminding myself of that fact, I release a bit of worry, and breathe a bit easier for the present, and the future.
Sweet girls. Glad you received such encouragement.
This was so powerful. I love your new canvases! Your definition of kindness reminded me of Shannon Martin–I’m rereading her book The Ministry of Ordinary Places right now, and it’s all about how essential it is to really see people and to meet them where they are.
I also love the way you talk about courage. My word this year is brave, and you are reminding me both of its importance and one of the most important ways I need to apply it.
Oh! Thank you! Brave is a great word. My word … dare I say it into the world … is surrender. I am slowly learning the power, peace, and grace in that.
lol you are a treasure trove of books/authors! I looked her up, she has a blog (yay) and a book called “Falling Free – Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted.” That made me chuckle.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I love that word!
Falling Free is so good too–I should add it to my reread list! I have not read her blog much, but I so love her newsletter.
Thank you for writing about kindness. It does not seek attention for itself, but is so powerful. I also always like that in the poem about love of Paul, the second thing mentioned is: “Love is kind”.
Ah yes! And perhaps the Love is patient actually makes the kindness possible. What a lovely Sunday morning aha moment. Thank you!! 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
This is why we TEACH. We touch those little hearts and they give back in so many ways – COURAGE – indeed – and kindness and empathy and will. Thank you my friend – find peace and joy wherever you go – I know you do, and that has been your gift to me these many years. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Yes! Thank you!! 🙂