What does it mean to be kind?
Kindness is underrated. The effect random acts of kindness have on strangers are a profound demonstration of that. Have you ever had someone pay for your coffee tab? Or how about a random compliment on your smile, or the way you approached a particularly difficult situation? Maybe someone has pulled over to help you change a flat tire, helped you pick up spilled books in a library – maybe someone just told you that they believed in you.
These little acts of kindness can brighten up a stormy day in a flash. Sometimes they stay with us, for years. Think back to a time someone did something extraordinarily nice for you, that they didn’t necessarily have to do. That person may not even remember. But moments like those can stick to us like glue, influencing our actions for years to come.
So, why do some of us attach laughable stereotypes to kind individuals?
Here are some negative connotations that are linked to being ‘kind’:
- A kind person is naive.
- A kind person is a push-over.
- A kind person is passive.
- A kind person is deceptive.
- A kind person is unrealistic.
Quite the contrary. Kindness is something pure. Kindness is affection, in the simplest of terms, towards others who may or may not be able to give anything in return. It is generous, free, and considerate. Friendliness will only cost you if you abuse your own pride. My mother used to tell me when I started going on dates: “A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”
“A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”
Sometimes, people will be mean to you. There will be people will ridicule you, reject you, and ignore you. Pay these words no heed. Do not accept harsh words as reality. “Kill them with kindness” is a one-liner our grandparents used to recite to us as children. It holds as much truth now as ever. Although none of us are perfect individuals, kindness doesn’t need conditions.
Kind people are not always naive, easily-manipulated, passive, deceptive, or unrealistic.
Kind people can be intelligent, sure, aware, assertive, truthful, and pragmatic.
Kindness does not require sacrifice.
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.“