I want to be kind to ev’ryone, For that is right, you see. So I say to myself, “Remember this: Kindness begins with me.” LDS children’s hymn book, Kindness begins with me
Inspiring words from a children’s song. Have we ever stopped to think about it. Often we talk a lot about how important it is to be kind to one another. We teach our children how to be nice to others and help them understand the principal of serving others. At times we will get angry with our children. We in all likelihood have yelled at them at one time or another. I must confess though I have no memory of my father ever yelling at me, though I’m sure that it was not because he did not yell at me at any point, I’m sure that he did, he tells me as much anyway, but I have no memory of him doing so. He is also one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I know. He is one person I can always count on him to live this motto “Kindness begins with me”
“Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women… …of greatness and the fundamental characteristic, Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends” Joseph B Wirthlin
Kindness is the first step towards charity, and as the Relief society (women organization in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints) says Charity never faileth. Opportunities for kindness abound on a daily basis in every interaction of our lives. Do we take the time to recognized and act on these opportunities. What have you done lately to be kind. Have you done any good in the world today?
There are countless examples in the scriptures of kindness from the Lord Jesus Christ. He healed the sick, raised the dead he loved everyone and anyone without exception, unconditionally.
The hymn have I done any good? asks
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, “Sometime I’ll try,”
But go and do something today.
‘Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love’s labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.
It many ways we miss the mark and failed to be kind when it is needed. When you are asked to provide service to others do we balk and the idea?, do we grudgingly accept? do we often find our selves making excuses as to why we can’t do something for someone or help someone out? There are times when we honestly are unable to provide services for various reason but to often as a culture we are resentful when being asked for help from others. Often the response can be its not my responsibility, its not convenient or its out of my way. Michael Jackson once put it this way in his song JAM “I asked my neighbor for favor, she said later, what has come of all the people have we lost our love of what its about” how often have we asked for a small favor yet people aren’t even kind enough to help out with something so small, as they are too consumed with there own needs and wants and desires to not be inconvenienced than helping others.
Kindness is a way of life. Mark Twain said, “Kindness is the language the deaf hear and the blind can see”. Another way to look at it is that where ever there is someone in need, there is a opportunity to provide an act of kindness to others. There will always be need in this world. This gives us the opportunity to grow spiritually and intellectually through service to others.
Do a good turn daily This is the slogan of the Boy Scouts. Some Good Turns are big – saving a life, helping out after floods or other disasters, recycling community trash, working with your patrol on conservation projects. But Good Turns are often small, thoughtful acts – helping a child cross a busy street, going to the store for an elderly neighbor, cutting back brush that is blocking a sign, doing something special for a brother or sister, welcoming a new student to your school. A Good Turn is more than simple good manners. It is a special act of kindness. (http://usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsslogan.asp)
A small act of kindness can change and forge relationships and build connections that can last a lifetime. Small acts of kindness can show just how much you truly care about someone. Let me give you an example. I have rarely heard my dad utter the words I love you. I would love to here him say it more often but I’m not holding my breath that he will. So how do I know that he loves me, I did not grow up with him in my life. I never really got the chance to have a relationship with him till much later in my life. We used to use in my family a utility table as our kitchen table. It was cheap, light weight, and folded up if we ever needed to move it. This was great I thought. One day my Dad showed up at our house and asked me to come and help him with something. I thought I’m not busy sure why not. What I did not know was that what he wanted me to help him with was a handcrafted Glass top kitchen table he had specially handmade and built himself for our family. He wanted me to come and help him bring it in. He thought about something he saw as a need and acted on it, without hesitating or being asked. Small acts of kindness like this may seem like not much, but they have an impact on the people we serve and in this case meant quite a bit to me. My dad has done many such things for my family over the years and continues to do things like this today. Hi small acts of kindness have shown through actions that he does love me and my family. Even though he is not comfortable sayings things like “I love you”.
Lets start a kindness wave and think less of ourselves and more of others. And remember Kindness begins with me. Pay it forward be kind and lets think less of our selves and more of others. As the scouts say do a good turn daily