Acts of kindness have an inspiring and humanizing effect because they powerfully remind us that people are capable of goodness, mercy, generosity, and service. Too many of us however, limit kindness, waiting for a major crisis such as a death, a divorce, a life-threatening illness, or a job loss. Yet, every day of the year provides us with ample opportunities to be kind. Here are four suggestions for making kindness a daily habit:
- Make kindness a priority in your life
Commit yourself to act kindly and to speak kindly. Let these words from Scripture shape your daily life: “As Gods’ chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
- Avoid the two D’s of inaction
Don’t delay or deny an opportunity to be kind. Act kindly whenever possible, as soon as possible.
- Be kind to an enemy
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. Most of us can find ways to be kind to family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and even strangers. Perhaps the greatest test of our kindness is whether or not we can be kind to those who have hurt us by their words or deeds.
- Turn your pain into another’s gain
The sad experiences in our lives should make us better, not bitter, people. Let your pain motivate you to treat others more compassionately. Remember that someone needs your kindness today. It may be a child who needs a word of encouragement, a spouse who needs your praise, a stranger who needs the cheer of your smile, or a work colleague who needs you to listen and understand. The opportunities for daily kindness are as close as the air you breathe.