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What if kindness mattered?

1

November 19, 2017 by eneubauer

The Embrace - Mother TeresaWho doesn’t love kindness? Since moving to Springfield I have had several experiences at places I frequent where individuals unknown to me, have paid for my purchases. I was so taken aback the second time it happened that I found myself driving forward and rejoicing at the “free meal” only to realize I did not immediately pay it forward as intended. These are some simple proofs that kindness matters. Kind actions not only impacts the recipient but the one giving as well.

Now, I am just guessing but it seems to me that we could use a bit more kindness in our world today. With the never ending negative news cycle alongside the real and varied challenges many face on a daily basis, I believe that kindness can make a difference. Your yes to kind words and deeds could make a significant impact in the lives of your family, friends, neighbors and even the stranger. Kindness is a key.

Challenges to being kind:

If I am honest, it is not my lack of willingness to be kind that holds me back from noticing the need. It is the busyness of life and the cacophony of other nosies around me that keeps my mind distracted. In addition, this constant buzz also creates in me a weary mind and emotion. I can’t tell you how many times I have intended to be kind but found myself battling mental weariness and distraction. In the end, I avoided doing one more thing. I avoided being kind.

Something changed recently – I was reminded:

I had just dropped off the kids at school when I found myself rushing home to prepare for a business trip. Honestly, I was deep in thought preparing for the trip when I was stopped in my tracks. As I drove through a difficult area of town I saw an elderly lady lying on the sidewalk with blood on her face. She was reaching up and moaning for help. I passed and immediately knew I needed to stop and respond.

Taking time to loveI got out of the truck and found her disorientated and hard of hearing. She was trying to corral her dogs back into the yard when they pulled her to the ground as they ran away. I lifted her off the ground and escorted her back home. All the members of her family were still fast asleep. She asked me to wake them up. Once awake, I updated them and lead the eldest child to the dogs just a few blocks away. With everyone plus pets safe at home – Grandma was happy.

As it turns out, kindness isn’t always convenient and can take longer than expected. Of course this severely shortened my time to prepare for my trip but was worth the effort. Both in the moment and after I knew in my heart I was supposed to help. It is in these moments when I rediscover who I was created to be. I am inspired to be a better person, to listen more closely (for the quiet prompting of the Holy Spirit) and act more often.

Others thinking along similar lines:

After this event and upon my return from my trip I was speaking with a friend about the need for kindness. I talked about how my recent encounter with this elderly lady inspired me to serve, love and care about others more often. Later, I discovered this post on his Facebook account:

I was on the receiving side of an act of kindness this morning. The car in front of me paid for my breakfast at McDonald’s. I wonder if they read Hal Donaldson‘s book “Your next 24 hours”?

Perhaps what our world needs most right now is more people doing acts of kindness. It starts with me and it starts with you. What if more people had been kind to the Las Vegas shooter or San Antonio shooter?

Find somebody today you can be kind to…perhaps somebody you don’t know or somebody who’s hurting. It might really matter.

As you are already well aware, I am not the only one who has been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness. These simple acts are causing people to think and be inspired to live differently. To live with a deeper sense of purpose, love for others and living at a pace that allows us to hear and respond.

A kindness mandate…for Christians?:

Finally, this recent experience and conversation with friends has made me think about a particular Bible passage. In Matthew 25: 31-46, Jesus indicates what type of action will follow the authentic Christian life. It reminds us to be aware of those that are,

hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick and in prison.

Everyone can do somethingNow, I will spare you the dissertation on Matthew 25. Suffice it to say that once read, it will be self-evident what Jesus is saying to Christians. Each time I read this passage I am reminded of just how insufficient my actions are. Time to live what I (we) believe and allow kindness to matter the way God intended.

Happy Thanksgiving. 

 

One thought on “What if kindness mattered?

  1. Bryan Donovan says:

    Eric,

    Excellent blog post as always. I had an act of kindness that was also a signpost in a way. It was Sunday morning and I had decided to go to a new parish that I heard was very reverent and traditional. Church was about a thirty to forty minute drive and I had a general idea of where the church was located but wasn’t 100% sure. Was running late and only had $13 cash on me. My bank and closes ATM was in the opposite direction so a decision was made to just drive to church this Sunday and make up with larger donation the following week. When I got to area of the town that I thought the church was at, I realized I was wrong. Pulled into a Dunkin Donuts to turn around and noticed a young man going from person to person. He approached me and said his old Jeep broke down and was asking for help to buy bus ticket home. Since the bus depot was right next door I believed him. I asked him how much he needed. He said $13. I told him that was exactly what I had on me and that I think I was suppose to give it to him. I found that church, St Monica’s in Methuen MA. It started me on a path to the TLM and thanks be to God a fantastic TLM parish opened five minutes from house in Nashua New Hampshire, St Stanislaus Parish. Happy Thanksgiving to you& yours and keep up the great work you are doing for the Body of Christ. if you are ever in New England stop by for Mass.

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