Many years ago a friend of mine knew that we were going through a really hard time as a family. While we were not home one day, she came and planted a patch of colorful pansies in our front garden. The moment I arrived home, my eyes fell on this beautiful patch. What a difference it made to my day! Although much has happened since then, it still stands out in my mind as a sterling act of kindness that did so much to lift me up in a time of hardship.
In literature there are several definitions of kindness, but for me it is simply love in action. The world is hungry for our kindness. We can only look around us and see people going through hard times and suffering. Sometimes very close to us. Kindness can come in many forms. In everyday life a friendly greeting with a smile can lift someone up, especially when we greet strangers who do not expect it (or a moody teenager at home!). There are bigger acts of kindness, such as cooking a meal for a family in crisis or volunteering to help at a soup kitchen. Kindness should routinely be shown to those closest to us, but also to people who will not be able to return the kindness. It also sometimes demands of us to put the needs of others above our own.
Kindness does not only bless the receiver, but also the giver. It has been scientifically proven that showing kindness builds self-esteem and a feeling of well being. Now in this time of the pandemic, it can combat loneliness by connecting us to people and introduce us to new friends and networks. Showing kindness is also contagious, it encourages others to do the same. Let us start a trickle of kindness and trust that it will grow into a wave or even a tsunami, which will change the world. In this way we will fulfill the instruction in God’s Word in Rom. 12:2, which says: Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
I believe in the magic of Kindness – Be the reason someone smiles today!
Dr Jeanne Brown
Here are a few useful tips to show kindness by The Character Company.