The Power of Kindness

It seems like our country is becoming more polarized and angry by the day.
Maybe that is why my reference to random acts of kindness in last week’s sermon garnered such a response. As I mentioned in the sermon, in the current climate kindness can seem like abnormal behavior.
Kindness is both simple and complex. It is both personal and global in its reach. Its outcome is only positive. Evidence of it is all too rare.
On a personal level, I think most people are not very kind to themselves. Disempowering “I’m not good enough” self-talk is all too common. We may not even be conscious of these tapes that run in our heads, but they are there. And they’ve been there for a very long time. They stunt our growth and prevent us from living out dreams. Replacing these messages is an essential act of kindness.
Rippling out from ourselves, kindness is needed in our families, our communities, our wider society, and toward our planet itself. Why? Because the undercurrents of frustration, anger, and pain are real and have become very directive in people’s lives. Kindness heals. Kindness restores. Kindness validates.
Kindness doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be planned out. Once you start, however, it can become contagious. Here are some ideas from the website randomactsofkindness.org:
Be a polite driver. Plant a tree. Ask a senior about their past. Put away your neighbors trash container. Treat yourself to a message. Send a care package to someone who isn’t expecting it. Drink more water. Switch your monthly bills to paperless. Text someone “Good Morning!”. Try being a vegetarian for a day. Leave uncarved pumpkins on a family’s doorstep. Leave a generous tip. Fill the parking meter just before you pull out. Buy from a lemonade stand. Start saving to support a cause. Befriend the new kid.
I’m convinced that acts like these were the starting points for Jesus’ ministry and are the gateway to finding him in our daily lives today. Acts like these bridge the divides that separate us. They remind us all that we are all human and that we are in this together.
See you in church,

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