Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy to the body. (Proverbs 16:24NLT)
When someone tells you something kind have you ever just stopped and thought about how nice it is to hear kindness being spread in your direction? Today, there seems to be less kindness being shown in the world, but we must be sure we are kind anyway!
How about you, do you acknowledge those you pass on the street? When I mention the word kindness did you automatically begin thinking about someone you know who is a kind person? Did you begin thinking of a time when you may have treated someone unkind?
This column is written for a 4th grade class that is learning about kindness. However, it is pretty safe to say, every now and then, it is good for everyone to do a self-check and see if we can improve our kindness skills.
A few online dictionaries describe kindness as being caring, friendly, helpful, thoughtful and understanding. Kindness is a virtue, a way of being. If we live our lives being kind, we will find many people around us who are also kind because like attracts like.
Kindness takes a certain energy form to give.
Next time you go for groceries stop and observe the deli counter and watch the people. It usually goes like this: Clerk: “Hi, may I help you?” Customer: “Give me eight slices of American cheese, a third pound of salami and a small container of potato salad.”
Often you will see the customer return to their phone or looking at the breads in front of the counter and never talk to the clerk again. Often, there is no “How are you?” or “Thank you for your help” and no smiles. I am the opposite of that because for me it is all about the energy expended. If someone is touching my food, I want them to be in good spirits having kind thoughts!
Being kind is caring about the person who is providing the service to you. Tell a store clerk you appreciate them being there for you and watch their face. They don’t know what to think of a statement like that because people rarely acknowledge them.
One of my beliefs is: In order to have friend, you have to be a friend. That means self-check time! If you want a good store clerk, next time you enter the store be a good shopper!
Remember, too, that people, like our parents and friends, are no different from us. Each and every person has to self-adjust from time to time. When we are busy or maybe not feeling 100 percent our best self, we may fall from grace. On those days we may be a little less kind than we should be, but don’t even realize it. So never take another’s actions personally.
Instead, in your mind, see them finding what will support them in returning to being the wonderful friend that you enjoy sharing time with and it will happen. If the change you’re looking for doesn’t happen, here is what I would tell my children: Enjoy your friends, but remember the world changes and people change so who your friend is today may not be your friend tomorrow, two weeks, months or years from now.
But you can still be kind to them and go make new friends.
How do you feel when you think someone is not treating you as kind or friendly as they could? Self-check, before you decide to get upset: Did they hurt you physically? If so, then that is definitely the time to enlist support and get help.
If they hurt your feelings ask yourself “Was I being over sensitive?” There are always two ways to look at every situation. Sometimes we care so much about what we want we forget that other people have things going on in their lives too. If a friend totally ignores you, perhaps you want to look for a new friend and also do a self-check to be sure you are being a good friend.
You can spot someone who is kind because they have a lot of friends around them. How do you make a lot of friends? Be a kind and caring person.
When we talk about kindness, it is important to also mention that there are times when someone truly doesn’t want to be nice. For reasons we may never fully understand, there are times when people purposely choose not to be caring, friendly, helpful, kind, thoughtful or understanding. When you see people like that, know they are not living a life that is supportive to the success of others. Choose new friends and choose to be around people who uplift and support you in life.
Kindness is a way of living and IT IS A CHOICE!
Every day, choose to be friendly and kind, reach out to those who don’t have friends and be their friend. In life, set no limits on how many friends you can have. Make lots of friends and be a blessing to all those you meet!
Seeing your kindness spreading joy and adding to your success,
Linda La Croix
Unity Director at Unity of Lake Orion. See her Facebook page, A Spiritual Walk, or website, aspiritualwalk.com.