A song keeps bopping in my head today, “You got to try a little kindness, yes show a little kindness, just shine your light…”. Being kind. Last night, I spent some time with my island daughters (as one is back in Ontario) and we got to talking about the kindness of others. My middle daughter had called me up early in the evening saying she is coming over and would I mind if she could cut my lawn. Oh my goodness. Bless her heart. I was humming and hawing about it all day, knowing it needed to be done. Was there a wave of ESP or something. Kick my heels and make me smile. YES. And she did. Thanking her over and over again, she finally said (not shouted or ranted or raved), “STOP thanking me mom. I wanted to”. Which funnily enough, as we kicked back in the living room afterward, led us to a conversation around how people talk to one another.
Whatever happened to being kind to one another? You know when you say something nice to someone and they in turn say something nice to you. Or you hope so. In other words, kill them with kindness. I am not sure ‘kill’ and ‘kindness’ should be in the same sentence. Odd saying but it works. I know I have found myself wishing I could take my foot out of my mouth at times. Have you ever had a time when you wish you could take back something you had said to another person? You know the feeling when you realize (after the fact) that your mouth ran away with the spoon…sort of like verbal diarrhea. And you cannot take it back no matter what. I think of that old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never break (hurt) me.” Well it is not true.
Words have the power, like the pen, to be hurtful or life-giving. I had a recent conversation with my grandson about what we say and how we say it. You know those moments… out of the mouth of babes. Watching something on TV, not always sure what he watches but in this particular instance I thought (after listening to the way the characters are talking to one another) maybe he needs to turn it to something else, or turn it off. But I am not teaching him anything. Soooooo, Rara may share a bit of wisdom (or nag).
I don’t know, it seems to me that there is more of a tendency to have less of a filter in the way we talk or be with another person. I know that saying it how you see things can hurt but REALLY a person can say whatever in a kinder way. Keeping the dignity intact for goodness sake. To me delivery is everything. There is a way of saying things and a way to not make one feel less than dirt beneath one’s feet. I believe and value it whole heartily. I do not want to leave someone feeling less as I know that feeling and it is not life-giving in any way. How you say what you say (how you do what you do) can be sweet as honey or bitter as lemon juice.
How does one curb the tongue? Put the breaks on. Whoa horsey!! I chuckle at myself because boy there are times when someone should have said to me “who peed in your soup today?” I do realize that being kind to others can also mean I can feel vulnerable, taking a risky of looking foolish, to be taken advantage of, but so, okay. Courage. Maybe to be kind is having courage?! As Mother Teresa says “Do It Anyway“.
To me, kindness to others is a simple act. Think about it, just one word or action can turn a frown upside down…the day becomes brighter, palatable, breathable. A moment given to feel moved, protected, noticed, held, loved. I think the wondrous thing about being kind is that it can spread like wildfire unbeknownst to me or you. Like an echo long after. Oh to be the beginning of that echo…
Kindness matters. Blessings.
Let us pray for those in need and for those who struggle with mental well being.