Last week I was in my Bible study and we were talking about kindness. Now, I know the word Bible can freak people out, so please just keep reading – promise I’m not preaching 😉
We were talking about the excuses people give for why they don’t show kindness to others. Some of the answers were that people didn’t have enough money, time or resources. But as I sat there I realized that, for me, the excuse I often use is that I don’t want to get involved.
It’s easy for me to shower someone with a gift, gifts are my love language. But oftentimes I find myself just NOT wanting to get involved. Because if I get involved and show someone kindness then I’m committed. I’m committed to showing that kindness to that person from here on out. And let’s face it as a mom I already feel overcommitted.
So I push the looming thoughts that prompt me to get out of my comfort zone into the back of my brain and keep trudging through my day.
I have a neighbor who is odd, for lack of a better word. She lives alone and has told me and other neighbors that she doesn’t have any family or friends. She rides her bike throughout the neighborhood hoping that someone will be outside so that she can talk to them.
Because that is the only human interaction she gets. How sad!
She’s also told me that she’s been hit on her bike at least six times since moving into the neighborhood. SIX TIMES! And she rides on the sidewalk!
What a metaphor for this woman’s life. She literally isn’t noticed by anyone. Ever.
And every single time I drive by her house, which is every day, I think I need to bring her something. I need to go over there and BE there. But then, I might be subjected to her more often. I might have to stop what I’m doing and chat when she rides by on her bike.
I might have to be KIND on a regular basis. And that is just messy. And committed. All things I don’t have time for.
Or do I?
Maybe you don’t believe in God, or any higher power, but for me, if we aren’t here for our fellow human beings, then who are we here for?
The answer can’t be for just ourselves. How sad a life would that be if we never got out of our own way and made the world better for someone else?
How many times are we told that children learn behaviors based on what they see their parents do? I can’t expect them to be kind if I’m not. Even when kindness is messy. Even when it means we talk to someone who is a little different, or who doesn’t like the same things we like.
Life is full of people who are different. If we can’t show them the same kindness we show others what kind of world will our children live in? Who will show them kindness when they need it?
Sometimes kindness is easy, like buying a latte for a stranger. And other times it can get messy.
A wise person once said, go and find the most difficult person in the room to love and love on them. Because even they need to be shown kindness.