Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Being Kind Matters

I was talking to two of my favorite people at work a couple months ago, trying to explain one of my character defects. I said, "By nature, I am nice. I am not friendly." One of the girls laughed and asked, "How is that different?" And I responded, "If you called me up in the middle of the night and needed gas for your car, I'd be there in a heartbeat. I do nice things for people. What I find unnatural is smiling or waving at people, or asking how their day is going." She then replied, "I've never heard of it out that way, but that makes sense."

It may make sense, but I still consider it a defect of mine. At the beginning of 2015, I decided I wanted to be more kind. I want to change my nature of just being nice and doing nice things for people to being someone I can refer to as friendly. It is a real struggle for me and I'm not sure why. I find it especially difficult to be kind to people who are UNkind, whether it is to me or to those around me. I don't react super negatively, in fact, I sort of just ignore them altogether. (a twist on 'if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all') However, I understand that it is towards the people who are UNkind that it is most important for me to show kindness to. I envy those that are friendly in all times, during all things, and at all places-- despite what mood they may really be in. I have posted notes around my house, set reminders on my phone, and prayed for this weakness of mine to become a strength and I am happy to report that I have felt significant progress, more so within the last month. Overall, I sense the relief in being around the people I once thought of as selfish or cruel or arrogant, and instead try to think only positive thoughts. Of course, they are still stuck as thoughts at this point. Haha....but I know our thoughts becomes our words become our deeds become our habits and that is what I'm striving for. Habitual kindness.

Why does it matter to be kind?
A lot of people live by the motto: I don't need to be liked by other people.

I think this is sort of true. You don't NEED to be liked. But you do need to be kind. If someone doesn't like you, but you are genuinely nice and friendly to them, obviously they have issues. If someone doesn't like you, and you have the maturity to evaluate your behavior and realize you are not a nice person to them, then you both have issues.  We are all required to show this Christlike attribute to our fellowmen, regardless of circumstance. And I, for one, know I have a long way to go. The good news is, the older I get, the wiser I get, and the more I focus on improving myself.

Kindness matters because:

1. It brings self and satisfaction.
2. It promotes healthy self esteem.
3. It cultivates meaningful, lasting relationships.
4. It brings you closer to God.
5. You will touch more lives.
6. You will be remembered.

Lately, I have had a loss in appetite for some of the worldly goals I once dreamed of. Not that they aren't goals, but they are not my top priority. I want all those things I just listed. I need them. Interestingly, I don't have all of them yet-- and I would bet money neither do you. Lets all make a goal this week to replace one bad thought with one good one, to say one nice thing to someone we haven't complimented in awhile, and forgive someone who might not totally deserve it. Good luck!!!☺☺☺