On the Importance of Being Kind
I grew up in a quiet home. Neither of my parents were “yellers”, but I knew quite well enough when I was in trouble or had done something wrong. There was a calm talk from my parents, and just as calmly, consequences were given. It’s not that my mom and dad didn’t get angry, they just did it very quietly. And there was no name-calling (unless it was between my sister and me when we were bickering!).
My mother and her mother, my grandmother, told me over and over again how important it is to always be kind to others, even when you have something upsetting to say to them. And, I believe that has affected me in many ways: the way I do my work, the way I conduct myself in difficult situations, and the way I have raised my children.
Don’t get me wrong—I am by no means a perfect person. But I have discovered that you really do get what you give! If you open your heart and ask God to quiet your fears, you can give others what they need—what they CRAVE in this crazy world: a kind word, a hand on a shoulder, listening ears. Take a walk in another person’s shoes for a few minutes and try to imagine their perspective. The Spirit of God will give you peace in return for this show of kindness.
So I was very pleased to hear that Tony and Lauren Dungy have written a new children’s book! It is called “You Can Be a Friend”. It is about Jade, a girl who wishes she had another girl to play with in her neighborhood. Her wish comes true when indeed, a new family moves into a house down the street, with a girl her age named Hannah. But this new girl is special, and after Jade and Hannah become friends, Jade is faced with a dilemma. And, she works it out so well! As I heard about and then read this wonderful new book, I was reminded about my lessons on kindness as I was growing up. I would highly recommend this book for your children, grandchildren, and even yourselves!
God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to treat others as we would wish to be treated. I would invite you all to take this to heart, and practice more kindness in your daily lives. I promise you, you will be rewarded tenfold!