Be kind…

“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

I read this quote today and I just love it, as it really puts in words my feelings about life and those we are fortunate to encounter. I remember when I worked at SEP (the youth camp in Orr, Minnesota) and one of my area directors said of one of the student workers one day, “He just needs a hug.” Well, I can tell you that a hug is not what first came to my mind as being the “thing” he needed, but my area director was right. This guy really did just need a hug-at least metaphorically speaking. He needed someone to stop, help him to slow down and be reminded of what is important. He needed to be cared for and listened to. He needed to be understood.

I think of every person we encounter on the everyday level. You know, the person you sit near at church each week, but you’ve never exchanged more than a simple greeting; the person at the grocery store who is mean to the clerk; the mean clerk; the person at the grocery store parking lot who does not put their cart in the cart stall; the person driving past us giving us a gesture; “that co-worker”; the neighbor frustrated with “those neighbors”; “those neighbors”; your spouse’s ex…well, you get the point. We’re all facing battles on some level. May this simple quote serve as a reminder to us to treat everyone with more gentleness and kindness than our instincts initiate and dare to give people the benefit of the doubt. And, consider even slowing down enough to ask someone how they are really doing. We just never know how close to losing it many people are. The kindness we extend might just be enough to be the tool that turns their life around. Dare to make a difference.

One Response to “Be kind…”

  • becky:

    I love it. Especially when economic times are hard. It pays a toll on the families. There is added stress which many people may not be aware of. I hear you and I hope that I can be one that "makes a difference"

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