The Power of Being Kind

7:29 PM

Some people come into our lives and quietly stay. Others stay for a while, leaving footprints in our hearts and we are never the same. - Flavia Weedn
While walking through the subway station this morning, I witnessed a simple but heartwarming encounter between a young man and an elderly woman. At first glance, I wasn't sure what was going on... the young man was carrying a massive suitcase up a flight of stairs. He left it there, and bolted back down the steps in a matter of seconds. Then I realized that the suitcase belonged to an elderly woman, who was at the bottom of the steps. She was thanking the man profusely for being so kind and for saving her 15 minutes of trouble. Mind you, this wasn't the first time I have seen a stranger help someone with their bags, but it was the expression on her face that really spoke to me. She was literally beaming from ear to ear. She kept that bright smile on her face as she made her way up the entire flight of stairs.

My heart melted. It feels so good to see humans being good to other humans.

I can relate to that feeling of joy after receiving help when you least expect it. But life has made me realize that this isn't always easy. We may have good intentions or a natural inclination to be thoughtful, caring, or loving people, but we don't always act on it. When we're out in public and see someone in distress, it's easy to turn a blind eye and assume that some other stranger will do something about it. It takes a lot of courage to extend a helping hand to others, especially when a positive reaction is never guaranteed.

Another challenge with being kind (or having a good heart) is that your qualities may be mistaken for weakness, passivity or in certain cases, flirtatiousness. Criticism and snide remarks flow into our ears and deter us from doing what's right and saying what we really mean. In an effort to avoid conflict, we live safe and comfortable lives where we only look out for our own concerns.

You might ask, 'whats so wrong with that?'.

Many things, actually. Galatians 6 really sheds some light on that challenge, as we all have our fair share of burdens in life, but we're meant to help each other with carrying the heavy load:
2 Bear one anothers burdens, and so fulfill the laws of Christ. 5 For each will have to bear his own load 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith
A watershed moment for me was the recent passing of a schoolmate. Her passing was the sudden and silent variety that leaves the heart and mind of everyone she left behind in complete shock and disarray. She was extremely kind, driven, bold, and didn't wait for anyone to tell her start anything. Her passing confirmed many things for me. First, I reevaluated the kind of woman I aspire to be and the way I want to treat people. My philosophy stands true, and that is to be good to everyone (regardless of race, economic status, health, whether they're a good egg or not, or whether or not they're nice to me). Don't have hidden agendas, ulterior motives, or a scoreboard to see who's winning or losing. Be good because it's good in and of itself. Secondly, I got a wake up call - tomorrow is not guaranteed (Proverbs 27:1). Forgive people, love intensely, slow down, and enjoy life. I know this will be challenging to do, but going through the trouble of being kind is worth it every single time. Our days are numbered (Job 14:5-7but ironically, living into old age doesn't necessarily mean that you lived a full life. Make time for rest (Matthew 11:28). After all, how can we be generous people if we're groggy and feeling worn out?

Kind people are powerful. They effectively manage their emotions. They hold on to life's positive aspects and they quickly rid themselves of negatives and keep pressing forward! More importantly, they leave an impression on those around them and empower them to do the same.

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