Why Kindness Matters

Today is World Kindness Day. Who knew? Frankly, I believe every day should be World Kindness Day.

Because we can choose each day—each moment really—to act kindly, to take the high road and not react with indignation, irritation, or impatience. Sadly, this choice to be kind is more often the exception than the rule these days.

Recently I had business at the Department of Motor Vehicles—an out­ing most people dread due to the incredibly long lines and bureaucratic red tape. When I arrived at the DMV I was directed to a fairly short line and was relieved to hear my transaction would only take a moment. I noted my clerk was a seated man with crutches behind him. He seemed a bit rattled about the form I needed but consulted his notebook and printed it out as I handed over the payment in cash. However his computer simply was not cooperat­ing, even after we switched to credit card. Everyone around him came to try and help. The long delay obviously embarrassed him, as this was his first week on the job.

As I stood helplessly at the counter, I became increasingly frustrated; however I made a deliberate choice to speak kindly both with my words and my body language. After a long thirty minutes, two women from the upstairs office came down and fixed the computer problem. The relieved new clerk gave me my form, and I smiled and thanked him, “You’re doing great! Remember, we’ve all had a first week at a new job.”

That’s when I realized that my behavior had been observed. The other men at that counter kept apologizing and saying how patient I was being. Me, patient? Only I knew how clearly my actions resulted from a deliberate choice rather than by default. And yet, as the clerk thanked me for a being a nice lady, I said in my goodbye, “Life is too short not to be kind.”

Anyone can choose to be kind! Kindness is defined as the quality of being generous, helpful, and caring about other people. Our kindness opens doors for others to receive virtues like grace, mercy, and compassion.

“What I like about kindness is that it’s doable. Unlike those virtues like compassion or even tolerance that you have to cultivate, you can be a lifetime cultivating those things. You can actually be kind to someone even if you don’t feel especially compassionate. It can be an act.” (Krista Tippett, NPR)

Be assured that such acts are noticed. Not just by all the people stand­ing around in a DMV line but by those who live with you, those who you interact with on a regular basis, and strangers who happen to intersect with your life.

One hundred years ago a Scottish clergyman, John Watson, who also wrote novels under the pen name Ian MacLauren, urged others to be kind and remember everyone is fighting a hard battle.

What hard battles are you facing today? Will you receive the Lord’s great kindness extended to you? And then pass it along?

“Be kind and compassionate to one another.” Ephesians 4.32 NIV

under the mercy, Lucinda

copyright 2019 Lucinda Secrest McDowell Check out my brand new bookLife-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most” by Lucinda Secrest McDowell Order Today! More about “Life-Giving Choices” HERE!

16 Comments

  1. Jeanne Doyon on November 13, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Lovely post, Cindy. In a world that seems to be more unkind than ever, the reminder is a good one. Kindness is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and this helps me to remember I need God’s help everyday for my actions to reflect His.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on November 13, 2019 at 12:52 pm

      Yes, our Lord will give us the power to Be Kind. Thanks for reading, Jeanne…

    • Evelyn Wells on November 13, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you for this excellent article. It really spoke to me this morning, as I determined several years ago to be kind. I’ve found that my kindness is contagious…to ME. After one act of kindness, I begin to look for ways to be kind to the next person. As you pointed out, it’s not a “default.” I have to determine to intentionally show kindness. Otherwise, I’ll fall way short of who God wants me to be. Blessings and hugs to you today!

      • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on November 13, 2019 at 1:27 pm

        So true Evelyn! The more we choose kindness, the more of that particular fruit of the Spirit we have! Thanks for your words today.

  2. Lois Ingles on November 13, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on November 13, 2019 at 12:52 pm

      Of course! We all need this reminder. Thanks for reading.

  3. Sheree Harrington on November 13, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Hi Cindy,
    In Hebrew the word “kindness “ is hesed. This word goes beyond mere kindness but is a deep covenantal love. It’s the kindness King David demonstrates to Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth who was crippled in both feet. It reflects God’s kindness to us in Christ. We are called to do likewise. Be blessed!

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on November 13, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      Absolutely Sheree – chesed! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Sharon banta on November 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you cindy. Some people it comes easy to be kind. But others it is harder. That is where I thank GOD for the holy spirit to work as we yield to him. Blessings!

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on November 13, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks Sharon – all of us find this hard at times… good thing we are not alone!

  5. Doris Hoover on November 13, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Very inspiring message. Thank you.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on November 13, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      Doris, thank you for reading!!!

  6. Dorcas cameron on November 13, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Hi, Cyndi, so very glad to hear from you. Loved your story. Must be something this week the Lord is trying to teach me. FirstDavid Jeremiah was preaching on kindness this past Sunday morning in his message (I so love him, part of my Sunday am routine) and the Bible study I attend at HawthorneGospel was the book of 1 John, all about love and kindness as Christ is with us and now your message, awesome……Lord, I am listening, teach me my lesson , I am ready. Luv Dorcas Cameron .

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on November 13, 2019 at 8:36 pm

      Yes Dorcas! God uses a lot of ways to get our attention!

  7. Ava on November 13, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Kindness -i remember my favorite US President -George W. Bush, Sr. referring to a “kinder, gentler nation…” -That amongst other authenticities out of his earnest lips impacted me deeply -staying power from 1988 – today! It felt good to have a leader in office who acknowledged the Fruits of the Spirit. His wife Barbara “Radiated” [Kim] a Kind “Knowing” of our Lord! That comment, along with other hints of characteristics of kindness (i.e. R. King issue; “…what am I to tell my Grand Kids…”) have me convinced ALL of his addresses to our nation could NOT have been written by others = the genuineness I crave.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on November 13, 2019 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks Ava for your comments. Each of us can arrive to continue a legacy of kindness wherever we are!

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