Joan: This will be a continuation of my U Love post last week on showing kindness as a sign of unconditional love.
After I bared my soul to you last week by revealing one of my most unpleasant moments in interacting with another person, I’ve had a week to think about the whole situation. I played out the scenario in my mind in varying ways, all with me showing more kindness to the “dog woman.” Naturally, that would mean the outcome would be improved. But, it got me thinking about exactly what it means to be kind; and I realized kindness is sort of a vague term. It can mean whatever a person wants it to mean. I thought I’d like to have more specifics on how to be kind. So, I read up on the topic. Here are some pointers that I thought would be good for all of us to apply. (I know to some of you, these are obvious; but for me, I like to have it all spelled out. LOL)
First, I thought a good place to start is with the dictionary definition of kindness which states, “kindness is the quality of being warm-hearted, considerate, humane, and sympathetic.” I would also add that being kind to people takes effort. You know that old saying, “Show random acts of kindness?” I don’t think kindness should be random at all. Kindness to others should be deliberate; purposeful (to help others); and selfless (giving of oneself with no expectancy of something in return).
An example I can give is that recently I was walking along the sidewalk of a busy street when I spotted an older woman having trouble crossing to the other side. The woman walked with a cane and seemed afraid she couldn’t make it across past the three lanes of fast moving cars. I took a moment to watch her, and I saw that every time she began to cross when her light was green, she always returned back to the sidewalk fearing she would not get to the other side before the traffic started moving again. Apparently, I was the only one who noticed this, because people were bustling all along the sidewalks ignoring the problem.
I knew I had to help this woman even though I was running late and didn’t have time to stop. So, I stepped next to her, took her arm, and, as the light changed to green, started to help her across. She walked so slowly that we were only halfway across when our light turned red. I could see the opposing traffic was anxious to move on, but I held up my hand to them (with all the chutzpah I could muster) to indicate that they would just have to wait until we were safely on the other side. Needless to say, the woman was very grateful, and I felt good that I had taken the time to help out. I think this adequately demonstrates the principles of kindness and unconditional love. It also acts as a redemption of sorts given my behavior to the dog woman on the plane!!!
This leads to my next point that kindness can be shown as often as possible whenever another human being is around. Kindness can be shown in kind words, kind acts, and even in kind looks to others. Kindness involves being patient with others, overlooking their offenses, and forgiving quickly. All these are qualities that reflect the nature of God who, as we’ve stated many times in this blog, is our standard bearer for unconditional love. I hope I demonstrated this to the woman crossing the street (as opposed to the woman with the dog where I failed miserably!).
Now, I know I’ve said that showing kindness should not be done to benefit oneself, but, in reality, there are indeed benefits to being kind to others. I learned some of this in the situation where I helped the woman cross the street, so it doesn’t hurt to mention some benefits to you, too. Being nice to others leads people to like you and builds positive relationships. It promotes confidence and helps you to feel good about yourself. Showing kindness to others can distract you from thinking about your own problems. And, overall, kindness just adds meaning to life and absolutely builds unconditional love between one another. All this will help to improve one’s quality of life. I’m all for that!!
I know that incorporating all of the above into one’s life can be a tall order (well, it is for me, anyway). As I’ve admitted, I can use some more work in this area. But, I am committed to giving more effort to showing kindness to others (and, thus, more U Love) in my life. Will you join me and be part of the solution, the U Love resolution?
See you next time!!!