Where has all the kindness gone? Our culture today seems to have evolved into one of self-centredness and being kind has become a bit of a novelty.
It’s a strange thing, people want to be treated kindly but some find it difficult to be kind themselves. So, what is kindness?
Kindness is noticing the needs and hurts of others. It is impossible to be sensitive to the needs of others and selfish at the same time.
Kindness is being supportive, building people up rather than tearing them down, especially in the words we say.
If you were given a pound for every kind word you said but a pound was taken off you for every unkind word you said, would you be rich or poor? Kindness is being sympathetic.
When someone is experiencing a crisis and you don’t know what to say, you don’t have to say anything. Just being there is an expression of kindness.
Sometimes kindness means being frank and honest.
A true friend will tell you not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. Sometimes kindness means caring enough to say, “I’m not going to stand quietly by and watch you mess up your life.” Kindness can mean being spontaneous, doing something when you have the opportunity.
The classic example of spontaneous kindness is in Luke’s Gospel account of the Good Samaritan.
When the Samaritan saw a man in trouble he didn’t think twice. He dropped everything and went to help him. Jesus told this story to remind us of all the people around us who are hurting.
In 1972, Edward Lorenz, a meteorologist presented a scientific paper entitled: Predictability “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?” According to Lorenzo’s theory the butterfly’s wing flapping doesn’t cause a tornado, but it can start a chain reaction leading to giant changes in world-wide weather patterns. In other words, even tiny insignificant movements or actions can produce huge changes that affect millions of people.
The Bible often describes a similar “butterfly effect” for the spiritual life. According to Jesus the spiritual effect occurs when we do small things for “insignificant” people. Making a meal, visiting the sick, befriending the lonely, opening our home to a guest. All these acts of kindness can make a huge difference. Now wouldn’t it be great if we could always flap our small “butterfly wings” to great effect to make a difference in someone’s life. Let’s do it, just be kind.