Kindness Always Matters

What the world needs now is human kindness, and lots of it

I wept this week as I watched news reports about recent flooding in Tennessee, saw the destruction caused by wildfires, earthquakes, and hurricanes, heard the heartbreak of overwhelmed healthcare providers as the number of children hospitalized kept rising from COVID-related illnesses.

The pictures were even more devastating—vehicles on top of each other like toys— twins swept away in flood waters, children at schools in their masks as parents and legislators battled over whether they should be masked or not. My thoughts were all over the place—the needs and concerns were so great it was difficult to decide what to do first.

As God would have it, Be Kind to Humankind Week (BK2HK) rolled around (August 25-31,) and if there’s a perfect time for kindness, this is it. According to Lorraine Jara, BK2HK founder, this designated time is designed to be “a week of reflection and kind thoughts of others to make this world a better place.”

Her BK2HK.org website gently reminds us that we should be kind every day, but this week offers an opportunity for extra kindness. She urges us to create our own good news, and after what we’ve been through over the past year, month, and week with hasty evacuations in Afghanistan, whole towns  burned, a scary surge of COVID infections, thousands of students in quarantine, I think we should.

She started this observance in 1988 after two young men in her town were in a boating accident and several people passed them by because they didn’t want to get involved. One died and she began this to honor his memory. Here is my take on her seven kindness suggestions but please add your own  and together we will make being kind part of everything we do.

Show you care. What you do doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive—call, send a note, run a few errands for a neighbor—think about what you’d need if you were recently bereaved, homebound, overwhelmed–and do/provide that.

Drive more courteously. Be patient, gracious, generous, and thoughtful as you drive. Slow down, pay attention, let the other driver into your lane without harsh words or mean gestures.

Touch a heart. Send flowers to someone you cherish. If you’d send flowers for their funeral, send them today while they can enjoy them. Listen more intentionally and encourage others in their hopes and dreams. Offer to babysit the children of a tired, single mom or an overworked couple so they can have a moment to themselves.

Lend a hand. Whatever that looks like, do it.

Be thoughtful. Offer your seat to someone who needs to sit down or allow the person with two items to go ahead of you in the checkout line. Hold the door, smile, and say hello –even under your mask smiles shine through. Send compliments to the cook, tip lavishly, and generously say please and thanks to your server.

Forgive. Holding a grudge is a miserable way to live, and besides, it takes energy you don’t have. Mend fences, especially family ones. If you’re not ready to face this person or discuss the issue, begin to pray, and work toward asking for or giving forgiveness.

Finally, speak kind words. Start with yourself and then use only kind words about and to others.

My bonus suggestion today is be a champion. Champions give it all, every time, to become better than they were yesterday. They see the good, embrace the possibilities, and seize the baton. We can too. Be blessed this week and know kindness always matters.

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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