Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Kindness Matters

It is no secret that this is a difficult time for many people. Given the reports you read on social media, the world itself is in a state of constant turmoil and the United States, in particular, is going through a tough time.  No matter which side of the political fence you lean, the division seems especially marked right now and people all over the country are witnessing angry attacks on those whose views are different from their own. This is one reason I decided to take an indefinite break from Facebook--I cannot control the posts of others, but I can control my exposure to them and this is the way I am choosing to do that for now.
But, something else is happening too-a movement that may have been born out of frustration, but one that actually has the potential to change the world. If you are reading this, then you have probably been touched by the "Be Kind" movement in some way, even if just a hashtag. It is nothing new--the command dates back thousands of years. In fact, one of the very first scriptures I ever learned was The Golden Rule--"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".  Be Kind.
As a little girl, when I came home distraught over the mean comments of a friend or feeling left out of an activity, my mother's advice was often to "kill them with kindness". The words often frustrated me at the time because sometimes I think I wanted her to give me permission to be mean back. But, she was so much wiser than that.  She knew that the sting of a bitter retort often backfires and leaves the giver feeling worse than the receiver.
I believe that God can bring good from any situation if we let Him. I have experienced it firsthand many, many times. Maybe, just maybe, the Be Kind movement is just that.
Perhaps He is working slowly, quietly, behind the scenes with all those who will listen, to create a voice that is louder than the negative ones we hear and read. Being kind could lead to a world where we can appreciate our differences-even different political views-and know that they are all equally important in creating a balanced world. A world full of kindness.

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