So simple right?! Kindness.
If you saw the live action version of Disney’s Cinderella you came away quoting “have courage and be kind.” Ella exemplified kindness, even when she was treated poorly and when asked how she was treated by her “family” she told the prince, “they do their best”. She didn’t bash them even though they were no where near her and were in fact the cause of her taking off from the house into the forest. She was kind; her heart dictated the story she knew in her head and that she told others. Being unkind wouldn’t have changed the situation, it could have made it worse, and she couldn’t have gotten a better happily ever after if she had intentionally planned it out. I want to be like Cinderella.
During the course of this year I was introduced to a book titled, WONDER, by R.A. Palacio. Personally, I think every human should read it. The book with no pictures forces you to see how actions, reactions, and interactions can make or break someone’s day or life. You will experience fifth grade in a way that will break your heart and then mend it so quickly you won’t know what hit you. You will see, feel and learn what this little boy experiences and what it’s like to be those who are lucky enough to call him friend. When you choose kind you give joy and love a chance; they will grow and spread like wildflowers when given the opportunity but you must plant that garden with seeds of kindness. By the end of this story you are cheering for the simple acts of kindness that make your heart nearly explode with love and joy. The world can be a cruel place but with kindness we can stand against it. I want to be like Auggie and his friends.
The hardest part about kindness is to actually put it into action. I will forever be an optimist and simply cannot believe or accept that deep down there is not a space for good & kind in the human heart. If you feed that space it grows; but if you don’t feed it then it shrivels up (think the Grinch; it’s there he just doesn’t use it). Don’t worry I live in reality and I know that in today’s world there are people who have chosen to close off that part. There are bad people, but only because they have chosen to be that way. Now to be honest, and you can ask anyone very close to me, I can not handle bad, or mean. I will avoid it like the plague, any book, movie, story, play, news media, etc that gives attention (and therefore glorification) to the sick disturbed ways of someone who has chosen mean. Mean, bad, evil… I just can’t. My heart hurts.
So I choose kind. That doesn’t mean I am always good at kind, I am human after all. I still compare, judge, and become self-righteous. I pray that I see these errors, I confess them when brought to my attention and I am forever grateful for the mercy given me so I may try again. But I will always choose kind. I will practice kind. I want to be innately kind. Kindness is a gift directly from the heart of one person to the heart of another. Kindness is the outward expression of love you can give to others. Kindness is the evident actions you take. “Show it by a good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom,” James 3: 13. And as the great Maya Angelou said, “once you know better, you can do better.”
So start small. Pick small random acts of kindness, even just words. Words become actions anyway and our actions (along with their motives) become our legacy. So choose kind; the world will be better for it.