What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Being kind comes naturally to most of us, but repeated practice makes it instinctive. Unfortunately, repeatedly rejecting this natural instinct turns hearts sour and blocks people from their God-given humanity.
So why would people reject the opportunity to be kind, especially since it warms our hearts along with the people who receive our kindness? Well, too many people view kindness as weak because it is based on respecting people. It’s harder to be kind when respect is replaced by contempt, stereotypes, and indifference. As the capability to respect others shrinks, so does the kindness that was once so natural to give.
When our view of the outside world comes more from television than OUR vision, that threatens our instinctive respect even more. So how do we hold onto respect for the people we don’t see? After all, the news, the movies, and the overload of cops & robbers “entertainment” portrays people in SUCH a discouraging way.
- Realize that so much of what we see is meant to be discouraging and exaggerated. This is because the people who have to sell advertising and tickets think everyday life is boring. A key question to ask is: How many people do I know whose lives are reflected in the entertainment I see? Another question is: When I see a news story, what impact does it have on my life? That eliminates all the tragedy and violence right there.;;but not the meaningful stuff like economic and political news.
- Focusing on what actually affects our lives not only makes most news irrelevant, but it keeps us from losing respect for people who (like us) are just trying to make their way through a difficult and challenging life. I’m blessed to be part of For The Family, which mentors parents who heroically try to keep their families on track through situations that would make anyone say “There but for the Grace of God go I.” It keeps me utterly respecting people who might otherwise fit cruel stereotypes if I didn’t know better. It keeps me anchored in kindness, and I hope these words add to yours. Blessings For The Family…Ward