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Apr 23

What is Kindness?

Posted on Friday, April 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

“Be kind and compassionate to one another…” [Ephesians 4:32]

What is Kindness?

Kindness is a choice.

Kindness is an attitude.

Kindness is not a weakness.

Kindness is counter-cultural.  Sadly, kindness is radical thinking in our culture.

Kindness recognizes that the other person as important.  Not more important than you, and not less important than you.

Kindness Involves Action

When we recognizes that another person is as important as we are it changes what we do and what we value.

I value other drivers who drive at least as well as I do, preferably better. I value being on time [insert your mocking laughter here]. I like eating when I’m hungry. Yesterday when all those things were threatened I had decisions to make.

Kindness is a Choice

Stuck behind a line of cars who did not move when the light changed I was almost frustrated. Then realizing, what should have been apparent, that the car ahead could not move my attitude changed.

After waiting for all the cars in front of me to drive around the stalled car I pulled up next to the car. Motioning for the passenger to roll down the window I asked, “would you like help pushing your car off to the side?”

Grateful, but sheepishly, he smiled: “Yes, thank you.”

I checked the street behind me. It was clear. I turned the van’s hazard lights on.

Before jumping out of the TreeHouse van I was driving I said, “anyone wanna help push a car?”

Two teens, the car’s passenger and I pushed the car a couple hundred feet up onto the street curb. Though slightly embarrassed they were grateful for our kindness to them.

We push the car out of the way of the traffic. Though slightly delayed we were being kind to the drivers who would be inconvenienced by the stalled car if we had left it in the left lane.

We hopped back into the van and though comfortably seated Hudson gave up his seat to our new friend “Jimmy” as we drove him to the gas station. Though inconvenienced Hudson chose to be kind to Jimmy and give up his seat.

Though I was hungry and Jimmy could have walked the three blocks back to their car we waited. Though inconvenienced Jimmy and his driver found their distressing situation resolved in ten minutes.

Our kindness, inconvenient as it might have been, took ten minutes, and it made many people’s lives easier who had no idea that there was even a stalled car blocking traffic moments before.

After we dropped off Jimmy, Hudson returned to his seat. We shared a smile. I asked him, “How many stalled cars have we pushed together?” He said, proudly, “four.”

Caveat

Ladies, I would not want my wife and daughter picking up “Jimmy”.  Our Jimmy was a nice guy.  Not all the “Jimmys” in the world are.  Ladies, be kind, call 911 and ask them to help “Jimmy”.  It will be kind to the stranded person, and kind to your loved ones that you chose the safe choice.

Kindness Requires Practice.

Choosing to be kind means that you choose to see the other person just as lovable, capable and worthwhile as you are.

Choosing to be kind means that you guard yourself against seeing the other person as a threat or an inconvenience.

Kindness requires practice.  Most of us have to chose to be kind rather than self-centered.

The challenge for you and for me is to choose to be kind when the opportunity presents itself.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another…” [Ephesians 4:32]

Bring on the comments

  1. Scott, as usual, great to see practical application of the chosen lifestyle put to action. Bless you as you continue to push cars out of the way, and I’ll be glad to help without putting myself or my children at risk to danger. I love riding with my husband when stuff like this happens. He does the same…and I’m the one who’s frustrated and inconvenienced. Good reminder to keep my attitude in check. Thanks.

  2. […] What is Kindness? I explained […]

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