How difficult is it to be kind? Because the dictionary defines this as friendly, generous and considerate, each of us should be able to be kind on a daily basis. What if a person is generous, but not friendly or considerate? Are they still defined as kind?
Recently I met a person whom I had conversed with on the telephone several times prior to meeting face to face. Almost from the onset of our meeting, the person was unkind; inconsiderate and insulting. I’m always perplexed as to why people choose to be unkind to individuals they don’t know and are meeting for the first time.
For over 38 years I have invited total strangers into my home; some I knew nothing about except for a brief written profile. Often I lacked even a profile. However, I had welcomed them into my home, as my guest(s). If they recalled nothing else about me or their visit, I knew one of the greatest gifts I could give them was to treat them with kindness. Not all my guests reciprocated such benevolence. Nonetheless, I chose years ago to give even if never receiving this gift.
When service people are in my home, they are also my guests. They may be hired to complete a task, but they should always be treated with kindness. While these providers are currently in my home, homemade cookies, coffee, tea, water, assorted soft drinks and chocolates are a hospitality I extend them.
What does the kindness of a smile do when someone is having a difficult day? During a recent atypical counseling workshop, I was reprimanded numerous times for “smiling”. I was astounded as my smile is as much a part of me as the color of my hair and eyes. From the time I was a young child, my smile is a gift I freely give; especially spending my career in health care when many in need appreciated a smile and frequently a hug.
Chuck Swindoll speaks of kindness, “I have a suggestion. It may not seem that expensive or sound very novel, but believe me, it works every time. It’s one of those gifts that has great value but no price tag. It can’t be lost nor will it ever be forgotten. No problem with size, either. It fits all shapes, any age, and every personality. This ideal gift is . . . yourself. Don’t forget the unusual value of kindness.”
As mentioned in Ephesians, forgiveness is also very much a component of kindness. NKJ Ephesians 4:32 “ And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”